The festive season is upon us and the holiday is about to begin. Although there has been a drop in new enquiries over the last week or so, December 2018 has been one of Gibson Kerr’s busiest months on record for completions. Many other firms are also reporting that they are busy right up until Christmas.
How is the housing market doing right now?
The Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre reports that average house prices in east central Scotland increased by 5.3% between September and November 2018, compared with the same period last year. The average selling price in Edinburgh increased by a fractionally higher amount, at 5.7% year-on-year. As usual, there have been some astonishing increases in local areas. Two-bedroom flats in Portobello and Joppa increased by 22.5% compared with a year ago, and two-bedroom flats in Trinity, Newhaven and Inverleith weren’t far behind with an 18.7% average increase.
For more information on house prices, see the ESPC House Price Report for November 2018 (PDF).
The prospects for 2019
It is impossible to predict what’s going to happen next year with Brexit looming large over everything. However, Brexit has been with us for a while now and, as far as we at Gibson Kerr can tell, there has been no discernible downturn in activity. The ESPC reports that the number of homes sold between September and November 2018 is 1.4% higher than the same period a year ago. Prices are, on average, 103.9% of the home report value compared with 103.7% a year ago. There are, of course, variations depending on location.
More recently, the ESPC has reported an increase in the number of houses being brought to the market. This is a good thing for buyers and indicates that sellers feel confident in the price they will achieve for their property.
There is huge demand for rental property in the Edinburgh area, with properties being snapped up by tenants as soon as they become available. Most commentators seem to feel that the 1% rise in Additional Dwelling Supplement for LBTT will be absorbed by landlords keen to get into the buy-to-let market.
Although this makes it more difficult for first-time buyers to get a foothold in the market, it’s not impossible. First-time buyers can be successful as long as they keep their expectations realistic and are prepared to make several offers before securing their new home. Interest rates remain low and in view of the huge demand for property in Edinburgh, we remain optimistic for 2019.
For any more information on purchasing property in Scotland, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our property team on 0131 226 9167 or visit our residential property pages.