Big Revival Predicted For Scottish Property Market

Posted 29 June 2020 by Keith Osborne

Property experts are predicting a significant upturn in buyer activity in the Scottish market as it reopens today...

With lockdown restrictions easing in the Scottish property market from today, industry professionals are predicting a significant upturn in buyer activity.

House-hunters are now once more allowed to visit properties, although they will be expected to adhere to social distancing and rules.

In the last week alone, the Bank of Scotland reported a 75% jump in online mortgage applications and a 470% surge in people seeking a lending appointment. This follows the stalling of the market from the outbreak of the pandemic, where figures from Registers of Scotland show that in the whole of April, just 103 housing sales were recorded, compared with 5,765 in March and 6,287 in February.

“With the housing market slowing in the last few months, it has left many people at a loose end, whether that involved delaying plans to buy, extending rental agreements, or having to move in with relatives or friends,” said Graham Blair, mortgages director at Bank of Scotland. “As Scottish estate agents look to reopen their doors, we are seeing an increase in mortgage applications and new lending appointments as more people want to get ­moving.”

Kevin Maley, head of residential agency for Strutt & Parker in Scotland, said: “We have a long list of people waiting to see houses. It is clear at this stage that there is a lot of pent-up demand, with some properties having several people waiting to see them. Our offices have seen a pronounced increase in enquiries about homes in the country.”

Mark Hayward, chief executive at NAEA Propertymark, and David Cox, chief executive at ARLA Propertymark, added: “Whilst it is not a return to normal, the new guidelines will allow members of the public to view, purchase, rent and move into new properties from today, reinvigorating the housing market and boosting the economy.”

Interest in the Scottish market includes that from England. Savills said inquiries from London about property in Scotland jumped 71%, with prospective buyers prioritising outdoor space and having space for a home office.

Cameron Ewer of Savills Residential in Scotland said: “It is important to highlight that sales activity hasn’t stood still during lockdown. Deals have been agreed, viewings and valuations have continued remotely and there has been overwhelming desire to get on with things. Prior to the pandemic, Scotland had seen record market activity and the market here is set to reopen with a similar bang this week, with pent-up demand already outstripping supply.”

Philip Hogg, sales and marketing director with CALA Homes (East), said: “We are looking forward to welcoming customers back to our sales offices. There'll also be some changes throughout the experience, such as protective screens and hand sanitiser stations, and new signage to help customers navigate the sales areas safely. While our sales teams won't be able to accompany customers around show homes, customers will be given plenty of time to explore these properties on their own, and our advisors will be on hand before and after to answer any questions.


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