Monthly Scottish Property Market News and Comment - What's Happening in the Property Market and Property Prices in Scotland? November 2011Written by Robert Carroll
This month's a bumper month for you lucky readers, as I'm going to be away on holiday at the time when our December property market update would usually be sent out meaning there won't be a December property market update. Boooooo hooooo, I can hear you scream amid much gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands. Well, don't fret, we're cramming loads into the November edition to keep you going. This month you'll get: the property market update for November, Home Reports at Three Years Old - Should They be Scrapped?, what the government's 95% mortgage scheme to help first time buyers on to the property market means for you in Scotland and why it's totally bonkers, and finally my predictions for the property market in 2012. Read on and (hopefully) enjoy!Comments (
Monthly Scottish Property Market News and Comment - What's Happening in the Property Market and Property Prices in Scotland? October 2011Written by Robert Carroll
Greek crisis. Italian crisis. French banks in crisis. Protestors sitting in cathedrals and not going anywhere. X Factor scandals...
It seems that the focus of our media has been so distracted by potential melt-down, disaster and insipid covers of Ed Sheeran songs that they've forgotten to resort to unduly negative stories about the property market to attract readers. For the first time in a long time, therefore, I have very little to rant about this month. Collective sigh of relief...
But that isn't going to stop me letting you know what we've been seeing happening in the Scottish property market in this past month. So here we go...Comments (
Monthly Scottish Property Market News and Comment - What's Happening in the Property Market and Property Prices in Scotland? September 2011Written by Robert Carroll
After a predictably slow August, we were of course hoping to see September come roaring back. And from our point of view it has, returning to the types of volumes that we saw at the busiest times of this year.
During the month there has been a lot of negative Press around concerning the property market: nothing really new there then! I'll let you know what has been reported this month and give you our view of what is actually happening in the Scottish property market as someone who runs a business in that sector, day in, day out.
And as a wee bonus, I'll answer one of the questions we're hearing a lot at the end of this article: should I be selling my property at this time of year or should I wait until the new year? The statistics and the answer might surprise you...Comments (
Monthly Scottish Property Market News and Comment - What's Happening in the Scottish Property Market? - August 2011Written by Robert Carroll
"I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves."
So that was apparently the best joke at the Edinburgh Fringe this year. Officially. As voted for by somebody who I can't remember, but clearly authoritative enough that the BBC thought fit to report it. The creator of this joke was Nick Helm by the way, lest I be accused of not crediting my sources (http://www.chortle.co.uk/comics/n/33578/nick_helm).
It's been a whole month of jokes in Edinburgh. And rain. And posters covering every wall and railing that didn't have an armed guard standing beside it 24 hours a day. If you're good, and you read this whole article, I've put the rest of the Top 10 jokes at the bottom of the article. But please be nice and read the remainder of this article first...promise?Comments (
Monthly Scottish Property Market News and Comment - What's Happening in the Scottish Property Market? - July 2011Written by Robert Carroll
Wee Danny and Danny's wee are causing usual property market summer holiday slow-down...
At the beginning of July, the property market sounded a lot like this: "........". Simon and Garfunkel wrote a song that would sum it up. Dropping pins were clearly heard by estate agents up and down the country. Tumbleweed was spotted in some branch offices. But meantime...
Parents up and down the country at the beginning of the month were suddenly treated to noises from the back of the car, saying: "Are we almost there yet?", "I need a weeeeeeeeeeee wee mum", and "Muuuuuuuuuuuuum, Danny's hitting me". For 'Danny', substitute any other child's name. I have no fully-formed theory that children called 'Danny' are worse behaved than any others.
Now, I'm no economist, but it would be hard not to imply some relationship between these two things. Every year the same thing happens: the property market ticks along quite happily through the year and then drops off significantly during the school summer holidays. It then starts picking up towards the end of July and gets back into full swing around mid-August.Comments (
- tell you exactly what WE are seeing happening in the property market (which might surprise you...it surprised me!);
- highlight a couple of property market Press articles that got a lot of coverage this month and indicate whether or not we believe them to be true; and
- have a wee rant about our competitors rather carelessly shooting themselves in the foot through undue negativity.
So, before I go any further, here's what's actually been happening in the little bit of the property market that my firm operates in...
What Are WE Seeing Happening in the Property Market?
A few statistics for you...
- Last week: we put 6 properties 'Under Offer'
- The week before that: we put 12 properties 'Under Offer'
- The week before that: we put 9 properties 'Under Offer'
In total, at the time of writing, we have put 28 properties 'Under Offer' this month. This in itself means very little. So let me put it in a little bit of perspective....
This is the first ever month where we have sold more properties in a month than we have put on the market. I think that bears repeating. This is the first ever month where we have sold more properties in a month than we have put on the market!
I would like to think that this is because we are uniquely brilliant at selling properties. That's only partly true (though our fantastic sales team and brilliantly-priced marketing package helps!). As I've been saying for months, there are enough people who want to buy, are not dependent on getting a first-time buyer type mortgage with a small deposit and who want to buy. There is nothing like the number of buyers that there was a few years ago. But then there is nothing like the number of sellers either: the number of properties coming to the market has dropped by about 50% in the last four years.
However, the fact is that properties ARE still selling. And they are selling across the board, not just in the upper, family home and prime property markets. These properties have ranged in value from £100,000 to £340,000, with the majority being under £200,000 and many being under £150,000.
So don't give up hope of selling and don't fret! There are buyers out there. Of course, you need to be realistic about your price, you need to present your property well and you need to be patient. But buyers ARE out there. It's not all doom and gloom. Though you wouldn't necessarily know that from reading the Press. More on that now...
This Month's Property News. What Has Been Said in the Press This Past Month? What's Our Take on All of This?
This month I thought it would be helpful to highlight a couple of stories that have appeared in the Press and which have summarised the overwhelming coverage of the property market that I have been seeing in the Press in the past month and then to give my analysis of what I feel is the reality of the position as far as it affects most of our clients.
Story One: Two out of three young people fear that they will never get on the property ladder (BBC): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13575857
My Response: I think that the affordability for First Time Buyers really is a problem in all honesty. I responded to this article by writing an article on our Blog which basically stated that I thought this was the largest problem affecting the property market at the moment. It's the one area that the government can only do a limited amount about because, ultimately, nationalised or not, the banks have to make a profit and can't be forced to lend unprofitably. For the full take on this story, have a look at the following article: http://www.mov8realestate.com/blog/item/76-first-time-buyers-fear-theyll-never-get-on-the-property-ladder.html
Story Two: Families Engulfed by Negative Equity (Scotsman): (http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland/Families-engulfed-by-negative-equity.6789092.jp?articlepage=1 )
My Response: I felt strongly enough about this story to comment for the first time at the bottom of a Scotsman article! (see comment no.22)
The problem with a lot of these headline-grabbing surveys is that they are SO general and geographically wide-ranging. It is of course true that if you bought a property that has fallen in value by 15% and you bought that property with a deposit of only 10% then you are in negative equity. However, there are some properties in Scotland that have fallen in value by 40% since the peak of the market: step forward hugely over-priced modern-build flats sold 'off plan' and purchased just at the wrong time. Equally, there are properties that are selling for just as much as they were at the 'peak' of the market. And they lie within half a mile of each other! In other words, some properties have fallen disproportionately hard, others not at all. Furthermore, property prices in some areas have fallen very hard (high unemployment during the economic downturn, industry closing or downsizing) and others haven't been as badly affected.
These statistics were provided by a property sales website. So how did they come up with statistics of what hundreds of thousands of properties across the UK are currently worth? I did ask them via Twitter, but they didn't respond. I can only assume that the stats are based on averages. Not only that, but Scotland is treated as a 'region'. For goodness sake: the chances are that your home is worth something different from the one around the corner simply because it's on a different street. So how on earth are statistics based on the whole of the country terribly useful? In my view, they're not! However, they are eye-catching and the Press can't be blamed for covering them.
And Finally: My Grumpy Old Man Moment
I am not suggesting that we should act like the fiddlers on the Titanic and blunder through the next few years in the property market with an attitude of 'crisis, what crisis?'. However, I feel that reports of the demise of the property market are greatly exaggerated. The fact is that most of the best minds in the property industry and in the economics world were unable to correctly 'call' the property market crash that happened a couple of years ago. There are some people who say that prices have to drop by 50% from where they currently are. There are others who say that prices will stagnate along with the economy for a few years. Who should we believe?
The answer is that I have absolutely no idea. All I can do is report on what we are seeing, hope that the worst doesn't come to the worst, and do everything that I can about the things that I can actually control (which is to provide the best property marketing service that we can to meet the needs of today's property seller). Apart from that, it's out of our hands. So it doesn't really serve us to be totally negative about things. Sadly though, it appears that some of our competitors don't agree, so I had a wee rant! If you fancy reading said rant on our blog, click here: http://www.mov8realestate.com/blog/item/79-other-estate-agentscan-you-please-stop-re-tweeting-negative-property-stories-without-indicating-if-you-agree-with-them?.htmlComments (
Post-Royal Wedding, post-plethora of bank holiday weekends, post-school holidays, how has the property market been in May 2011?
I'll be honest: April 2011 was a disappointing month in the property market. The holidays and other distractions certainly took their toll. National property websites reported that the total number of properties coming to the market was significantly down on the numbers that could normally be expected in this month. So how has May fared?
Well, the good news is that activity levels are right back up again and have rebounded after the drop in April. The number of property buyers registering with us on our database of 'active' property buyers was back up to record levels and the number of properties coming to the market returned to March 2011 levels. The number of offers being received has also been faring well in comparison to the previous month so I'm glad to report that it's 'business as usual' again.
Reports this month of falling house prices across the UK aren't what the (house) doctor ordered but the big question is of course whether these trends apply to your area as well as across the UK. For what it's worth, I have to return to my normal mantra of property markets being very local and emphasise that not too much attention should be paid to UK-wide statistics. For further reaction to this point, please click here: http://www.mov8realestate.com/blog/item/75-halifax-reports-14-property-price-fall-in-april-2011.html
There really isn't a huge amount to report this month in terms of trends or prices because not a huge amount has changed. In the longer term, the question is: where are house prices headed? Of course, one can only provide predictions based on experience, but for an in-depth analysis of the effect of lack of funding for First Time Buyers on the wider market and on property prices, please see an article that I have just written on our blog: http://www.mov8realestate.com/blog/item/76-first-time-buyers-fear-theyll-never-get-on-the-property-ladder.html
In the meantime, if you have any questions about the property market or about putting your own property on the market, please just drop us a line!
Summary - April has been a slow month and it's partly Prince William's fault...April is traditionally a good month for the property market, with longer days and better weather leading to more property sales and more people putting their properties on the market. However, April 2011 has been a slightly unusual month though owing, largely, to our Royal Family. This is not a pro-republican statement, oh no. Rather, it appears that the impending Royal Wedding has led to people deciding to put big decisions on ice about both putting their properties on the market and also making purchasing decisions. Well, that and the school holidays, Easter and the May Day bank holiday. But it's easier to pin the blame on someone whose face we've seen in the media every 4 seconds or so for the past month!
Before we get into that though, and our own experience of the property market in Scotland in April, let’s have a quick look at some of the news stories that have appeared in the Press in the past month. Comments (
Budget 2011 Special! What Have I Written About Below and Why Should You Carry On Reading?
George Osborne had his 15 Minutes of fame last week, announcing the Budget for 2011-12. There was not a huge amount in there for those looking at purchasing or selling a property in Scotland. In other news, initiatives were announced for local authorities to team-up with lenders to help First Time Buyers onto the housing ladder, with mixed reactions from commentators. In addition, there was some good news for people looking to remortgage, or indeed to get a new mortgage (assuming they have a sizeable deposit). I will cover all of that below.
However, for those of you who aren’t really interested in all the nitty-gritty of what has been happening in property-related news this past month, or for those of you who always skip to the last page of a book before deciding to read the rest of it, I thought I might present my Conclusions prior to the Facts!Comments (
Well, I'll give you a quick run down on the All That which has been happening in the past month. After that, I'll let you know, as always, what we, as estate agents and solicitors who are engaged in the property market on a day to day basis, have been finding has actually been happening in the property market.Comments (
About This Blog
I'm Robert Carroll, Managing Director of MOV8 Real Estate, Estate Agents and Solicitors. MOV8 is an innovative and forward-thinking estate agency and solicitor firm with its Head Office in Edinburgh, UK. It is one of the fastest growing firms in the east of Scotland.
I see first-hand every day what is actually happening in the property market and am regularly quoted in the Scottish Press in property stories.
Through this blog I aim to give an honest, fresh and sometimes light hearted take on what is happening in the Scottish property market for anyone who is interested in that kind of thing...
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