Your Local Property Market Update November 2016
As the leading property sales company in East Central Scotland, our Local Property Market Update combines our own experience of the local property market with a round-up of the month’s property news, separating the wheat from the chaff and the fact from the fiction so that you don’t have to!
Sales Volumes and Number of New Properties Coming to Market Down
The latest data released by the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC) for the period covering August to October 2016, has shown that the number of properties sold in East Central Scotland has decreased by 14.9% when compared to the same period in 2015. During the same period, the number of properties coming onto the market across East Central Scotland has also decreased by 9.2% when compared to the same period the year before. There is no doubt that the drop in properties selling is linked with a continued decrease in the number of properties coming to market. It is also possible that the supplementary 3% tax on second homes introduced in April 2016 in Scotland could be stalling the market slightly.
2015 and 2016 have seemingly been punctuated by regular local and global political events that have caused uncertainty in property sellers’ and buyers’ minds, with changes to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), the UK’s referendum on its continued EU membership and the US Presidential Election results all taking many people by surprise. Now that the immediate effects of these decisions are known, we hope that property sellers and buyers will go into 2017 with more certainty as to what the immediate future holds.
Property Market Remains a Seller’s Market
Despite the number of sales decreasing year-on-year, property prices are continuing to rise and selling times are significantly down on the previous year. Across East Central Scotland, the average selling price of a property has increased by 5% annually for the period of August to October 2016, from £209,613 to £220,016, with the average selling time dropping from 37 days in the period from August to October 2015 to 25 days in the same period in 2016.
Falling selling times and increasing sales prices are key indicators of a seller’s market, with falling supply creating greater demand for properties as they come onto the market. The latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), released 9 November 2016, also indicated the number of potential buyers had risen for the second month in a row with 14% more respondents reporting a rise in demand. We would encourage anyone who is thinking of selling their property to take advantage of the current market conditions and some of the competitive deals being offered to property sellers in Winter to encourage them to take the plunge at a time of year that is, somewhat unfairly, not seen as the ideal time of year to sell a property.
UK Government’s Autumn Statement Changes English Tenancy Fees
The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced his first and last Autumn Statement in November 2016, with the Autumn Statement being scrapped in favour of one, annual Budget statement. The Statement contained significant changes to the ability for landlords and letting agents in England to charge fees to tenants for items like credit references. These changes had already been in place in Scotland since 2012, so any effects on the Scottish housing market should be minimal. You can read our full report on the Autumn Statement here.
Interest Rates Remain Unchanged
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously this month to keep the Bank Rate (commonly referred to as The Bank of England ‘Base Rate’) at the historic low rate of 0.25%. This has had the result of increasing the affordability of mortgages, with affordability reaching a record level in September 2016, as reported this month by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
Are You Thinking of Selling Your Property in 2016? Please Speak to Us!
If you are thinking about selling your property, please do get in touch with us by calling 0345 646 0208 (Option 1) or email [email protected] to organise a free property valuation or to have a preliminary chat with us about the selling process in Scotland. Our valuers can help you with suggestions that will maximising the appeal of your property to buyers and are happy to discuss any concerns that you have about securing your next home.
For more tips about preparing for a property valuation, you can also check out our YouTube video, Getting the Best Possible Property Valuation.