As market stabilises

Politicians warned over decisions hitting property

Maurice Allan
Maurice Allan: long hangover

An estate agent has warned politicians of the impact their decisions have on the property market which has only now begun to stabilise following turbulence in the last few years.

After reporting a record year, Maurice Allan, managing director of Lindsays’ residential property arm, said success for the firm had followed a “long hangover” from former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s emergency budget of 2022 and of the nervousness caused by rising interest rates and the cost of living.

“The consequences of political decisions have a real impact on peoples’ lives and can be long-lasting,” said Mr Allan.

“We saw that with the emergency budget and the long hangover which followed for the property sector. It took time for people to work out what the impact of all of that was on their finances – and many delayed making offers on properties as a result, practically shutting down the market.”

He said the market has proven to be fairly resilient, supply has improved and good houses continue to sell well.

“People have adapted to the financial circumstances and regained the confidence to get back into the market,” he said.

“We’re not seeing the huge offer prices over valuation that we were post-lockdown, but what we have essentially seen over the past 12 months is a market which has returned to pre-pandemic levels, which is not a bad place to be.”

The total number of property sales during the year was also broadly in line with the previous 12 months – with the average price of homes sold through the firm up in Edinburgh up by about 1.5% to £330,000.

He forecast a more stable market during the next 12 months.

“While it’s always difficult to predict what might lie ahead, there are genuine signs of positivity,” he said.

“The conversations we are having signal a growing belief that interest rates have peaked. With things more stable, many of those who have been sitting on their hands because interest rates were going up and up are now starting to think seriously about doing something in 2024.”

Lindsays sold a record £174m-worth of homes, a second successive year of sales totalling in excess of £170m.

Of these, £106.3m were through the firm’s Edinburgh-based team with a further £67.9m through its Dundee office.

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