The housing market – home or away?

I have been reading with interest the various reports that have come out in the last few weeks detailing the state of the Scottish housing market. All with the exception of a report from the Daily Express have been full of doom and gloom, indicating house price falls and activity levels down.

As I mentioned in a previous post, it is always important to treat house price reports with a degree of caution, particularly at this time of year. Whilst the housing market is not as seasonal as it once was, there is no doubt that in general you see an uplift in activity at the end of February which slightly dips with the school holidays in April. There then tends to be a peak in June with activity levels dropping for July and the middle of August. There is then the autumn surge which usually comes round about the end of August with the schools going back from the summer holidays and then there tends to be a surge at the end of December as people try to get into their properties before Christmas.

My experience for July 2010 is that there has been a higher than expected level of properties coming on to the market, coupled with the usual quietening down of the number of purchasers which is to be expected for this time of year. I think the end of August will be a telling time at which point we will be able to decide if the increase in market activity will continue or if we will get the slow down as expected.

Figures from the Registers of Scotland indicate that on average activity in the Scottish market is between 10% and 20% up on a month to month basis. My feeling is that for the rest of 2010 we will see activity levels much closer to 2009 levels with house prices remaining stable. I will keep you up-to-date as soon as more information becomes available.

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