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Property market experiences regional differences

Reports into the condition and prospects of the UK housing market are increasingly positive, with many lenders, property organisations and estate agents reporting a growing number of buyers and sellers entering the market, and a general rise in house prices.

More people positive about selling

However, despite this overall positive trend, the latest quarterly Halifax Housing Market Confidence tracker has suggested that there are still significant regional variations in the level of confidence of sellers, with some areas seeing higher confidence levels than others.

According to the tracker, the net balance (i.e. the difference between the proportion thinking that it will be a good time to sell and those who think it will be a bad time) turned positive for the first time in September in several regions including the East (+8) and the South East (+13).

Other regions where more people now think it will be a good time to sell than think it will be a bad time include the South West (+6), London (+4), North East (+4) and West Midlands (+2). These areas represent a real increase in consumer confidence, because as recently as June of this year, they had more respondents who thought that it would be a bad time to sell.

Boosting the supply of properties

Unfortunately, despite an overall drop in the number of people thinking that it will be a bad time to sell, from 56% in June to 47% in September, people in Scotland, the North West, and the East Midlands still appear to be lacking confidence about the prospects of selling their property in the next 12 months (with a net score of -38, -31 and -19, respectively).

“We know that the property market varies significantly between different areas of the county. The disparity in opinions towards buying and selling across the regions reflects this,” said Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax.

“The significant improvement in sentiment towards selling a home could help to boost the supply of properties available for sale on the market which will help ease any upwards pressure on house prices. It could also help to increase levels of housing market activity from their still historically low levels,” he added.

Rise in Scottish property sales

Despite the apparent lack of confidence revealed in the Halifax tracker, Scotland has undoubtedly experienced a growth in its property market.

According to the latest figures from Registers of Scotland, the number of residential properties sold between July and September this year was 22.5 % higher than the same time last year. House prices have also seen an increase, rising by 1.5% and taking the average cost of a home in Scotland to £161,748.

Edinburgh City continues to see the highest prices for residential properties in Scotland, with an average price of £222,759. Aberdeen is also doing well, with the city recording the highest percentage rise in prices (9.9%) compared to the same quarter of 2012. The average price of a residential property in Aberdeen now sits at £210,000.

Revitalised property market

“This quarter’s figures are one of the strongest indicators yet of a revitalised Scottish property market,” commented Registers of Scotland’s Commercial Services Director, Kenny Crawford. “This is the fourth consecutive quarter that volumes have increased, maintaining the upward trend.”

“There has also been a significant increase in the total value of property sales. Between July and September, the residential market was worth £3.92 billion – an increase of 24.4% on the previous year.”

Contact our Lawyers

If you are looking to buy or sell property in Scotland, our solicitors are based in Glasgow and can help you. Complete our online enquiry form here or come in to see us at one of our offices.