16th March 2017

Stagnation Not Bubbles - Part 3

Readers of previous blogs will recognise the above which has actually headlined two previous blogs. I thought this was an apt headline once again for my February update. From a very interesting article in The Times in the middle of February predicting the lowest number of transactions completed in the UK housing market for 2017 since the market recovered from the post 2008 slump to my own experiences of the market Scottish wide I am concerned regarding the lack of properties coming onto the market.

Whilst I am still awaiting official figures my feeling is that February will be one of the worst months ever for new properties coming on to the market. With January and February combined probably showing a decrease of somewhere between 15% and 25% Scottish wide. My feeling is that at this stage sales are holding up whilst maybe even slightly increasing thus reducing stock levels to unsustainably low levels and also driving up prices and activity, in certain areas and for certain property types, again to unsustainable levels. The Aberdeen market continues to toil with a lot of sellers still not fully accepting the reduction in value to their property that is required to obtain a sale. What is causing this market anomaly? I think probably a number of factors are leading to uncertainty and uncertainty is, like the small snowball that starts rolling down the mountain side turning into a self-fulfilling avalanche.

Economic uncertainty from brexit, global uncertainty from the United States, the constant talk of Inde2 coupled with some Scottish government policies that are anti home owner in particular the LBTT have all had a significant dampening effect on the market.

It is always too early to write off a market after just two months especially the January and February months but unless there is a massive upswing at the end of March heralding a surge in activity in quarter 2 then I do fear that the housing market is in for a very bumpy ride. I will keep you further updated as and when the official stats come in.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property
@LindsayDarroch

 

 

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