22nd August 2011

Property market update

I thought it would be interesting to start the end of Summer blog – did it ever get started (?) with an overview of some events that have happened over the recent few weeks.

Firstly a general summary of where the Scottish property market is.  I am sure you have all seen the recent data from the Registers of Scotland which jumped upon with apparent glee by most newspapers pronouncing the demise of the Scottish property market.  My opinion is that these figures were incredibly misleading particularly because of the time lapse.  These figures related to Quarter two ie April to June but because of the nature of the Scottish property market this is a reflection of how business was during the eight weeks previous i.e. February and March.  As readers of my January blog will know all the signs were for Quarter One being a very quiet period in the Scottish property market,  which had a knock on affect for settlements for Quarter Two -the Registers of Scotland’s figures bear this out.  I would advise that Blackadders figures for May and June showed record ‘Under Offer’ figures and this has translated into a surge of activity for settlements in July and August.  There is always a traditional holiday slow down from the beginning of July to the middle of August and this usually translates into a slightly quieter September unless you get the surge early in August.  It remains too early to see where we are but indications are that September will be a slightly quieter month.

I would suggest that if the Scottish property market activity was shown in a line there is currently four main spots.  The Aberdeen market although showing signs of slowing down now is still very buoyant with high activity levels.  At the other end of the spectrum you have Glasgow being very poor with depressed activity levels both in sales and prices.  Dundee is fairing better than expected with higher activity level and prices holding up if not even increasing.  Edinburgh is doing slightly less than expected with sales and listings sluggish.  Other areas can be slotted around these points for a variety of reasons relating to overall market and geographical quirks.

It is too early to write off the Scottish property market and I still stick to my January prediction of a stronger than expected second half of the year.  There are a few issues:-

  1.  There is still a lack of first time buyers – more on this in future blogs.
  2. Global economic crisis causing banks to tighten up lending criteria and stifling UK economic growth.
  3. A further erosion of public confidence due to media manipulation of the headlines.

I will keep you advised of figures as the rest of the year progresses.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property



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