Sales rise

Lindsays confirms buoyant house buying market

Maurice Allan: ‘intense interest’

Lindsays is the latest to report an uplift in home sales over the last year, triggered by pent-up demand in the first lockdown and government tax relief in the summer.

Buyers have also been driven by a desire to find larger premises with gardens and room for home working.

Sales by the law firm’s residential property division rose by 4.26% in the 2020-21 financial year and it handled 6.2% more property valuations.

In July last year the Scottish and UK governments announced a lowering of tax thresholds for home purchases in order to help the sector to recover.

Maurice Allan, managing director of residential property at Lindsays, said: “There’s no doubt that many people used the first lockdown as an opportunity to think about where they wanted to live – and were quick to react when restrictions eased in the summer. 

“In 20 years in the property industry I have never experienced such intense interest as when we worked our way through that bottleneck.

“Had anyone told us this time last year that we would be recording an increase in sales when compared to 2019-20 I would have struggled to believe them. But that only goes to show the strength of Scotland’s housing market currently. 

“Strong buyer demand, coupled with a slight shortage of available property, has created a really competitive market throughout the past year.”

In Edinburgh, the firm reported a near-9% rise in sales on the year.

ESPC agents across the southern half of Scotland are reporting significant buyer demand and enquiries, contrary to a report from RICS which indicated the market had fallen.

The first three months of 2021 saw the volume of property sales in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders rise by 55.7% compared to the previous year, it said.

In Edinburgh, the sales volume was up by 72.6% compared to the previous year.

Jenna Spence, operations director at Neilsons Solicitors & Estate Agents, said: “The local market is experiencing exceptionally high levels of buyer demand.  

“Our sales are up by over 92% due to such strong levels of buyer demand.”

There are, however, concerns that the restoration of land and buildings transaction tax thresholds for most buyers will dampen demand.

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