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Confused (about the state of the property market)?

Virtually every day you open the paper there are articles about the property market, reporting, for example:-

  • fears about a fresh property boom, which reporting is being driven by the performance of the property market in other parts of the UK (London being the obvious example);
  • that property sales in the last 3 quarters have increased by as much as 22% as compared with the same quarter last year;
  • better news on the lending front, with mortgage approval numbers up, greater mortgage availability and gross mortgage lending up by almost 30% as compared to the same period last year according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders; and
  • shortened selling times of property,by, on average, 3 weeks.

As a Solicitor within the private client department who is responsible for the marketing and selling of property through the GSPC, I have been aware of an increase in activity in the property market. However, the picture is far from consistent.
It is probably fair to say that property prices have fallen as far as they can go.  Further, there has been a sea change in the mood of the market.  Buyers have more confidence and are being decisive, which translates into a will buy attitude as opposed to might buy. However this is not translating into increased house prices.
Whilst property sales in East Renfrewshire are up by 23% the same cannot be said of other areas such as East Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire and West Lothian where property sales have fallen. Further, whilst sales of flats and semi-detached properties are increasing, sales of detached properties are slower.       
So what conclusions can be drawn at this time?  Well, the property market will improve and strengthen in line with improvements in the economy, however, it is likely to be a slow improvement, with fluctuating trends. Further, properties which are situated in good areas, which have been priced correctly and which provide good investment opportunities will always  attract buyers.  Finally, the Help to Buy Scheme backed by the Scottish Government is likely to provide opportunities to potential purchasers to secure lending and this should translates into more potential purchasers.
It is my opinion that the tide is changing, albeit slowly, and we can only hope that when it does it will result in a more balanced property market but only time will tell.  

For up-to-date and information on the property market, follow the blogs of myself and my colleagues within the private client department on the Dallas McMillan website at or follow us on twitter.

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