We are very optimistic about the housing market in Edinburgh and the Lothians in 2013. Whilst property prices certainly haven’t been flying upwards, they have remained stable through 2012. So what’s the outlook and why do we feel this way?
The RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) released a report earlier this month revealing increasing optimism amongst surveyors in the UK about the property market and also showing that activity in the market had increased. For more about this, have a wee look here: http://www.mov8realestate.com/blog/item/134-reaction-to-the-rics-royal-institute-of-chartered-surveyors-uk-housing-market-survey-november-2012.html
Most hearteningly in the past year we have seen a huge rise in the proportion of property sales taking place at the more affordable end of the property market. This is almost certainly a combination of prices having become more affordable, first time buyers having managed to gather a deposit and the increased availability of good mortgage products for these buyers.
We have also witnessed a general increase in sales across the board, from the most affordable to the most expensive of properties on our books, and we would put this down to a general increase in confidence in the property market after a significant period of many people watching and waiting.
Even as I write this, our negotiators are busy dealing with a number of offers that have come through in the last few days before Christmas. Given that many of our competitor firms are already closed or closing for Christmas and that the unofficial last date for settlements in 2012 was last Friday, it’s a great sign that people continue to want to offer at this time of year and also that sellers are continuing to book-in valuations to the extent that both of our senior property valuers are out of the office at the moment!
Interestingly, the number of buy-to-let buyers whom we are speaking to has increased quite significantly, suggesting that an increasing number of investors believe that the market has ‘bottomed-out’. The same can be said for MOV8 Financial, Independent Mortgage Advisers, our sister company, who have reported a big upswing in the number of buy-to-let mortgage enquiries that they are dealing with. Given that these are people who buy property very much with income and profit in mind rather than as a home to live in, it is an encouraging sign that they feel optimistic enough about the market to want to invest hard cash in this sector.
Moving into 2013, unless something significant changes in general economic conditions, we expect that prices will remain stable and that the upswing we have seen in the number of properties we are selling in the second half of 2012 will continue throughout the new year.
So all that really remains is to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and New Year and to look forward to speaking to more of you in the new year!