|The outlook for the Scottish property market is optimistic for 2015, following a successful year in 2014 with encouraging levels of activity throughout the country and a return to some competitive bidding.There was a 24% increase in the number of sales in the final quarter of 2014 compared to the third quarter. As well as the improvement in sales figures, there was also a 23% increase in the number of viewings against 2013’s figures for the final quarter, according to data from independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith.
Throughout 2014, CKD Galbraith handled property in excess of £375million covering property throughout the whole of Scotland. Prices achieved for all properties sold by the firm during 2014 were, on average 1.54% over the asking price.
According to the firm Edinburgh has been one of the year’s successful markets despite a slowdown due to the independence referendum vote in September 2014.
In the fourth quarter of the year property sales and registration figures in Edinburgh continued to grow on the previous quarter’s figures according to new research conducted by the firm’s office in the capital city.
Overall the number of properties sold through CKD Galbraith increased by 50% from the third to fourth quarter and the number of interested buyers registering with the firm rose by 51% compared to the last quarter as well.
Average house prices in Edinburgh have also seen a significant increase rising from £253,000 in the third quarter to £340,000 in the final three months of 2014. The research also shows that 34% of buyers were local, 50% were national and 16% were international buyers
‘The fourth quarter saw a return to high sale numbers and a desire to get transactions finalised before the 01 April when the changes to stamp duty occur. The Edinburgh market has also seen a return of buyers from down south and abroad since the uncertainty of September’s referendum disappeared,’ said Jennifer Campbell of CKD Galbraith’s Edinburgh office.
‘Demand continues to outstrip supply across Edinburgh. The south side also remains extremely popular for its proximity to good schools. We expect sales figures to keep increasing throughout the first quarter of 2015 and not to show signs of slowing down until the general elections in May,’ she added.
In the Aberdeen office there was a 33% rise in sales compared to the third quarter of 2014 and the supply of high quality properties in the region has risen by 23% compared to the last quarter. Also, the number of viewings has increased by 15% in the last quarter compared to quarter three.
‘Property prices continued to rise in the region and buyers were serious about purchasing accurately priced homes. Although we envisage a plateauing in prices over the next year we do expect interest and offers to keep increasing as the city and surrounding areas grow in popularity,’ said Jordan MacKay, head of residential for CKD Galbraith in Aberdeen.
‘Everything from holiday homes to first homes are currently in demand in Aberdeen. This has been further boosted by the number of new properties we have brought to the market and the increase in transaction levels. Although we are optimistic for the sector in 2015 we don’t foresee its growth as immune to the political and legislative changes set to take place, changes to stamp duty and the general elections will most certainly effect decisions over the coming six months,’ added MacKay.
The fourth quarter also saw property sales and letting figures in Dumfries and Galloway continue to grow on the previous quarter’s figures. Sales through the Castle Douglas office doubled from quarter three to quarter four and there was also a 27% increase when the sales figure were compared to the final quarter of 2013.
The office witnessed high levels of interest from buyers across the rest of Scotland and from English buyers in particular. In the fourth quarter 10% of buyers were local, 85% national and 5% international.
‘As expected some the pent up buying power was released following the Scottish referendum in September. This continued right the way through the months of November and December and is evident still and likely to be reflected in the first quarter’s figures for 2015 as well,’ said David Corrie of CKD Galbraith’s Castle Douglas office.
‘General elections typically cause a slight slowdown in activity which we fully expect around May, but generally we are very optimistic for the year ahead and the property sector is on path for continued growth across Dumfries and Galloway,’ he added.
There were also positive signs in the Dumfries and Galloway lettings sector and the demand for high quality lets in the region has remained steadily high with supply of rental properties slowly increasing to go some way towards meeting this demand.
‘Tenants are increasingly particular about the properties they seek. There is a trend of young professionals letting larger town houses and remaining in the rental market for longer rather than buying in the current mortgage market. Therefore, these are people looking for a home as opposed to a stop-gap and want assurances of quality and good management,’ said Marion Currie of CKD Galbraith’s Castles Douglas Office.