Detailed, Scottish-Specific Property Price Data Finally Available
One of the most interesting things that's happened in the property sphere from my point of view in the past month has been the new Registers of Scotland (ROS) website's Property Statistics section. Doesn't SOUND very exciting? Okay, it's not quite as exciting as watching Greece knocking Russia out of the Euro 2012 footie championships in the dying minutes of the group stages, but as Scottish-property related matters go, it's about as good as it gets. So what is it and why should you care?
Registers of Scotland is the body that deals with the registration of the sales of all properties in Scotland so it has access to a rich database of information about the Scottish property market. Up till now we've had to rely on a lot of statistics from a variety of sources that aren't really terribly accurate when it comes to Scottish property trends, particularly if you want to look more locally i.e. not at the 'Scottish region' in most of the UK-wide surveys (which frankly I find a little patronising as well as not very useful).
The level of information in the ROS website is pretty forensically-detailed so you could spend quite a lot of time in there looking at property price movements across every region of Scotland. Which I did. And what was the most interesting finding?
Well, across Scotland as a whole, prices of properties sold in the first quarter of 2012 were actually higher than in the first quarter of 2011. In Edinburgh prices were down about 0.8%. In Glasgow City they were down almost 2% but in East Renfrewshire they were up a whopping 12% (indicating to me a different mix of properties selling rather than a huge spike in demand). In Aberdeen they were up about 1% and in Aberdeenshire they were up almost 5% on the same period the year before.
All of this comes against a backdrop of surveyors telling us that prices are going down and are constantly weakening.
Thankfully this makes us not feel quite so stupid here at MOV8 Real Estate. We have been pretty chipper when people have been asking us about property prices in the last couple of years. We're not saying they're going flying upwards: just saying that they are pretty stable and not heading in either direction very quickly. In spite of what the Press might say. And in spite of what chartered surveyors might be saying.
If you fancy losing an hour of your life (honestly, it's addictive!), have a wee look for yourself at: http://ros-properties.clients.civiccomputing.com/Home.
What Have We Seen Happening in the Property Market in the Past Month?
It's been an interesting month so far. It started off very, very slowly in terms of new properties coming onto the market. And then, in the last 3 days, has gone absolutely mental, for want of a better technical expression. Sales have been a little steadier but I've not seen quite the same volume of offers coming across our desks this month as last. Why would this be?
Weather. Pure and simple, awful, horrible, stinking weather. The summer months should be a time when people are wandering around the streets, looking at new neighbourhoods, thinking of perhaps viewing properties and moving house. It's a time when people think, "I really want a garden so that my kids can run around whilst we sit and have a cold drink in the sunshine." And they should be a time when properties are bright, warm and inviting in the longer, brighter evenings. But that hasn't really happened this June, though, has it?!
Instead we've had more rain in a couple of days than we normally have in a couple of months, flooding, people staying at home instead of having yet another umbrella destroyed and a general pessimism that has pervaded virtually everyone we've been dealing with in the past few weeks. And it's a fact: people don't buy as much stuff when they don't feel positive and happy. Except for booze and chocolate. But that doesn't really help the housing market!
Looking at the statistics across the marketplace, it's been the same story for other firms in our area as well: the beginning of the month has been surprisingly slow. However, the time comes when a dose of bad weather, or a dose of bad economy, or indeed any bad news just starts becoming old news and people refuse to let it get in the way any more.
I suspect that that's exactly what's happened with the rush of people putting their properties on the market in the past 3 days: they were waiting till things just got a bit brighter for their property photos, realised that the rain was going nowhere fast and so eventually got fed-up of waiting and just 'pushed the button' to go ahead. The same will be true of those people who want to move house: they'll go to the pub instead of open viewings to avoid a soaking for a couple of weekends but then, after a while, they'll give in to the fact that they really need to get moving and will start arranging those viewings and getting their offers in.
As a result, June is suddenly on course to be a record month in terms of new properties coming on the market with about 50 already confirmed for the month. 21 properties have already gone Under Offer this month with a few more offers under negotiation, so in spite of a little dip in viewings because of the people staying home, we're still delighted with the way that things are going. The end of the month always has a wee rush for purchases anyway, so we're sure that the number will be closer to 30 by the end of this week.
I hope that you've found some of the information in this update useful. In the meantime, as always, please leave your Comments below if you strongly agree, disagree or have anything else to share.
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