Last week I was at the Council of Mortgage Lenders Annual Lunch. The keynote speaker was Bill Jamieson from the Scotsman. Bill’s talk was informative, enlightening and enjoyable to listen to. As well as discussing the economy he also made the point that housing market surveys are easily manipulated and they do not always paint the full picture. This is a view I strongly endorse as often we do not know the basis on which they have been calculated and this can cause a false impression. Figures can also be skewed when the number of property transactions drop to low levels.
Recently I read that a survey of the English housing market indicated that listings and sales in January and February were down to their lowest level. This was also the case in the Scottish market and Dundee in particular. The extreme weather knocked the usual New Year splurge of properties coming on the market, this situation was not helped by the Home Report. I was concerned that this was a trend developing for 2010 but I am pleased to say that in March we saw an increase in the number of properties coming on to the market and a significant increase in sales. According to my contacts across Scotland this pattern seems to be repeated throughout the country with only a small number of areas bucking the trend. So what about prices – well, prices are not back to the peak levels of 2007 but in general they have not dropped to the low levels that we anticipated and whether or not you see any growth will very much depend on when you purchased your property.
All in all prices are holding up and encouragingly I am seeing an increase in the number of properties selling for more than the asking price and the Home Report.
Is it too early to call green shoots for the Scottish Housing market?
It may be too early to call a recovery but definitely green shoots are starting to appear.