Trends point to confidence
Home buyers shrug off Brexit to push sales to 11-year high
Jacqueline Law: people are looking ahead with confidence (pic: Terry Murden)
Home buyers are defying claims that Brexit is causing a slump in confidence in Scotland’s property market which has soared to an 11-year high, according to new research.
Transactions worth more than £8 billion were recorded between January and June this year – the best since 2008 thanks to a bumper second quarter.
Almost 26,000 sales were concluded in the second quarter, nearly 1,000 more than the same time last year, according to Aberdein Considine’s quarterly Property Monitor.
The additional activity pushed the average price of a Scottish home 1.6% higher, to £172,189, despite the market stalling elsewhere in the UK.
Jacqueline Law, managing partner at Aberdein Considine, said bullish buyers were “taking a long-term view on the market” amid the current economic uncertainty.
“Buying a house is not something people do with tomorrow or next year in mind,” she said.
“It’s a considered decision which most purchasers take with a medium to long-term view – and these figures suggest people are looking beyond the current political and economic headwinds with a degree of confidence.”
Edinburgh – where the average home now costs £264,943 – remains the most expensive place to buy a home, just ahead of neighbouring East Lothian, where prices have jumped 15.2% to £260,399.
Glasgow’s two most popular suburbs, East Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire, also recorded lofty average prices of £250,017 and £244,902 respectively.
Aberdeen celebrated its own milestone with its first rise in prices since the end of 2017. The cost of a home in the Granite City rose 1.7% to hit £202,011.
Dundee continued its emergence as a new property hotspot with a 12.6% increase in sales during the second quarter. The average price of a home in the city rose almost 6% to an inflated yet affordable £148,790.
Mrs Law added: “The regions with the highest property prices – Edinburgh, East Lothian and Glasgow’s more affluent suburbs – have a common tie, which is a lack of homes for sale.
“Average sale prices in these areas are reflective of the high demand for what limited stock is coming to market.
“Regardless of what kind of deal – if any – the UK leaves the EU with on October 31, many Scots are pressing ahead with purchase decisions in order to provide short to medium term security.
“However, in many areas, there are simply not enough homes on the market to meet that demand, which in turn is driving up prices for the ones which do.
“We’ve seen a similar pattern cities like Stirling and Perth over recent quarters, where prices are edging towards the £200,000-mark despite sales falling.”
However, the Property Monitor report also shows that housebuilders are catching up, with new-build completions topping 5,553 during the most recent quarter, the highest recorded figure since the third quarter of 2008.
More homes are in the pipeline; in East and West Lothian, over 5,000 new homes have been approved, with the 3,500 Winchburgh project attracting a great deal of interest.
Builders across Fife, Dundee, Perth and West Dunbartonshire have also made announcements in recent months which will see hundreds of news homes built in these areas during 2019.