Blackadders Property Team Expansion

As part of the strengthening of Blackadders Property I am delighted to advise that we have acquired the Estate Agency business of Ian Goddard Properties. Ian is a very experienced Estate Agent and his business covered predominantly Fife. I am delighted that Ian has joined us as a Consultant and that he will still be there to assist his long standing client bank. This is a further sign of our strengthening our market share and reinforcing ourselves as one of Scotland’s leading solicitor estate agents.

I will keep you advised of progress however should you have properties anywhere in Scotland that you are thinking about marketing then please remember to call the Blackadders Property Team.

As a reminder the numbers are as undernoted:-

  • Dundee  01382 342222
  • Montrose  01674 900 200
  • Perth  01738 500 600
  • Edinburgh  0131 202 1868      
  • Glasgow  0141 404 5460
  • Aberdeen  01224 452 750      
Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property

Housing market – a drag on economic recovery

I was interested to read an article in the Times on Saturday regarding the housing market being the cornerstone of the US economy. The article indicated that the US economy would not make a solid recovery until the housing market had stabilised. The Federal reserve chairman said in his eagerly awaited speech on Friday “the housing market has proved a drag on economic recovery.” This accords with my view in relation to the housing market and the UK economy and the urgent need for the Scottish  Government to take urgent action to assist first-time buyers.  This would have a huge benefit for the economy as a whole allowing asset values to stabilise, increasing confidence amongst banks and leading to more general lending to the economy as a whole.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property

Appointment – TSPC

As some of you may have read I have been appointed as Director of the Tayside Solicitors’ Property Centre.  I am delighted with this appointment and feel very honoured to have been asked, especially when I see some of the illustrious names of Solicitors who have been on the Board previously in one form or another.  I am hoping that this appointment will enable me to play an active part in further strengthening the Scottish Solicitors Property Website as I believe this is a very important step in the development of the Solicitors Property Centre.  I will keep you advised as to progress.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property

Property market update

I thought it would be interesting to start the end of Summer blog – did it ever get started (?) with an overview of some events that have happened over the recent few weeks.

Firstly a general summary of where the Scottish property market is.  I am sure you have all seen the recent data from the Registers of Scotland which jumped upon with apparent glee by most newspapers pronouncing the demise of the Scottish property market.  My opinion is that these figures were incredibly misleading particularly because of the time lapse.  These figures related to Quarter two ie April to June but because of the nature of the Scottish property market this is a reflection of how business was during the eight weeks previous i.e. February and March.  As readers of my January blog will know all the signs were for Quarter One being a very quiet period in the Scottish property market,  which had a knock on affect for settlements for Quarter Two -the Registers of Scotland’s figures bear this out.  I would advise that Blackadders figures for May and June showed record ‘Under Offer’ figures and this has translated into a surge of activity for settlements in July and August.  There is always a traditional holiday slow down from the beginning of July to the middle of August and this usually translates into a slightly quieter September unless you get the surge early in August.  It remains too early to see where we are but indications are that September will be a slightly quieter month.

I would suggest that if the Scottish property market activity was shown in a line there is currently four main spots.  The Aberdeen market although showing signs of slowing down now is still very buoyant with high activity levels.  At the other end of the spectrum you have Glasgow being very poor with depressed activity levels both in sales and prices.  Dundee is fairing better than expected with higher activity level and prices holding up if not even increasing.  Edinburgh is doing slightly less than expected with sales and listings sluggish.  Other areas can be slotted around these points for a variety of reasons relating to overall market and geographical quirks.

It is too early to write off the Scottish property market and I still stick to my January prediction of a stronger than expected second half of the year.  There are a few issues:-

  1.  There is still a lack of first time buyers – more on this in future blogs.
  2. Global economic crisis causing banks to tighten up lending criteria and stifling UK economic growth.
  3. A further erosion of public confidence due to media manipulation of the headlines.

I will keep you advised of figures as the rest of the year progresses.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property

Natwest launch new first time buyer mortgage

I was interested to see that Natwest have launched a new first time buyer mortgage – a 2 year fixed rate 90% loan to value product.  This is a very welcome step in the right direction and ideally if we could just see perhaps 95% mortgages creeping in this would be enough to really kick start the property market. 

A recent Halifax report indicates that while property prices are at their most affordable level for first time buyers since 2003, the number of first time buyers has dropped to 10% and continues to deteriorate.  As I have mentioned in previous blogs, first time buyers are the life blood of the housing market and a healthy housing market requires the number of first time buyers to be 40% of all purchases.  Again I call for both UK and Scottish Governments to take urgent action to assist first time buyers.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property

Volatility of the Stock Market

I have been watching with interest the volatility of the Stock Market over the last few days.  With Stock Markets around the world plummeting this is bound to have an impact on the property market, both in a bad and good way.  I am hopeful that Central Governments will come up with a plan to reassure investors and get the Stock Market moving in the right direction, however, there is a danger that the volatility of the Stock Market may have an impact on the economic recovery of the UK and the world and this may also have an impact on the liquidity of Banks thus affecting their ability to lend.  Where I think it will have a positive impact is that the volatility of the Stock Market shows firstly the importance of having a balanced portfolio and secondly the important role that property can have in that balanced portfolio. I have noticed over the last few weeks an increase in the institutional investors coming into the market and I have always been a great believer that where institutional investors go smaller investors will follow.  With low asking prices, great potential for capital growth and extremely good yields currently there has never been a better time to invest in property and when we see the volatility of the Stock Market it is perhaps no bad thing to have some bricks and mortar investment – could property be the new gold?  I shall keep you advised of developments.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property