Scottish Home Buyers Thin on the Ground

I was disappointed to read a recent report by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Scotland which showed that Scottish surveyors were among the most pessimistic in the UK when it came to activity in the housing market.  I do agree that there is still a problem in relation to mortgage finance, in particular for first time buyers.  However, I would report that Blackadders Property are continuing to show an increase in activity, both in listings, viewings and Under Offers.  I still stick with my prediction that 2012 will be a tough year but that from the summer onwards, we will start to see continued and sustained improvement.  I can report that the year has started off better than expected and I hope that this continues.  I will keep you advised of trends.

Lindsay Darroch

Partner

Stop Press – First Time Buyer Mortgage Scheme

As readers of previous blogs will know I have been campaigning vociferously for the government both Scottish and UK to take urgent action to assist first time buyers. I was delighted to hear the announcement from the Scottish Government of their backing for a three year national Mortgage Indemnity Scheme developed by home building industry body Homes for Scotland. This project is for first time buyers purchasing new build properties up to a maximum price I understand of £250,000. I think this is a welcome move for both the housing market and the construction industry which is fundamental to the economic recovery. I am disappointed that the Scheme is not open for all first time buyers and is limited to new build properties but I think it is still a very welcome step in the right direction. I will advise you of more details as and when I get them.

Lindsay Darroch Partner

Head of Property

Home Report Update

I was delighted to see Malcolm Cannon the Chief Executive of ESPC calling for a rethink on the Home Report.  As readers of previous blogs will know I have been campaigning for a number of years for the abolition of the Home Report.  Malcolm’s research coincides with my view that rather than decreasing the number of surveys it has actually led to an increase in the number of surveys being commissioned per property.   Research shows that 65% of sellers who pay for the Home Report described the document as not helpful to them as a seller and 31% were of the view that the best way to improve the Home Report would be to scrap them.  I would again urge the Scottish Government to create a working party to review the Home Report legislation.

Lindsay Darroch

Partner

Property Market Update

Despite my efforts to have an update every month and I am now conscious that we are at the start of March and you have not yet an update.  Whilst I apologise for this I am very pleased to advise it has been caused by a huge surge in activity in the Blackadders Property Team since the start of 2012.  In general my figures indicate that there is still an east/west divide with the East of Scotland performing much stronger that the West Coast, in particular Glasgow.  Overall the trend seems to be for an increase in properties coming on the market and a corresponding increase in activity with purchasers.  This is a good sign.  There is still a problem for first time buyers and with the budget fast approaching I hope that the Chancellor uses his budget to put in place a fund to assist first time buyers.  I am also hopeful that the Scottish Government will likewise take steps to help first time buyers.  My view of the market indicates that the number of first time buyers continues to drop and is still well below levels required to have a healthy property market.

Overall my feeling is that for the first two months sentiment has been improving and that in general there is more demand.  I am still sticking to my January predictions for 2012 that from the summer this year we will start seeing sustained improvement in the housing market.

From a Blackadders point of view I am pleased to advise that listings and under offers for the first two months of 2012 have exceeded targets and are way above levels seen in the corresponding months in 2011.  Our mobile team continues to grow and develop and list properties throughout the whole of Scotland.  Our unique proactive and innovative approach to the property market continues to win us plaudits and increase our market share and I am confident that this will be a long term trend.

I will continue to keep you advised of the market and I am sure that the March overview will be equally as positive.

Lindsay Darroch

Partner

Blackadders Property – Dundee TV

I am delighted to advise that we are now working closely with the Online Dundee TV Channel to assist with the marketing of our properties for sale.  As well as the property getting video footage and being on the Dundee Channel the video link will also be available through our own website which can also be accessed via smartphone and our interactive QR code for sale boards.

This gives our clients another way to market their property in the best possible light and I think is another example of our innovative approach to marketing properties.

For more information please don’t hesitate to contact either myself or any member of the Blackadders Property Team.

Lindsay Darroch

Partner

Blackadders Property Auction

At Blackadders Property we always pride ourselves on being innovative and cutting edge.  With this in mind we have been discussing for a number of weeks the idea of a property auction.  My investigations and discussions with clients and business people down south have shown me that property auctions are becoming an increasingly popular way of selling properties in England.  In Scotland property auctions have traditionally been linked with repossessed or distressed properties.  This has been one of the reasons that we have been reluctant to go down this road.  I do see the benefits and it may be another means of getting the property market moving and with this in mind I am delighted to advise that the first Blackadders Property Auction will be held at our Dundee Property Shop on 27 March 2012.  I am also very pleased to advise that we have managed to secure the services of Steven Dewar of Curr & Dewar Auctioneers, North Isla Street, Dundee.  Steven is a very experienced auctioneer and his firm is a very long established family business.

This is the first Property Auction to be held in Dundee for some number of years so we are limiting ourselves to 20 lots and as they come on they will be available to view on our website.

To encourage sellers and prospective buyers alike we are going on the basis that, unlike other auctions, that should a bid be successful on the day this will not be binding on the purchaser.  The purchaser will be required to pay a £1,000 non-returnable deposit on the day to secure the property and thereafter missives will progress following the normal course of a Scottish property transaction with a date of entry being anticipated to be 28 days from the date of the auction.  I hope that this arrangement will encourage more purchasers to come along and bid at the auction.  All prospective bidders will require to register prior to the auction.

I think this is a very exciting development and is another example of the Blackadders Property Team getting the Scottish property market moving.  For more details or to register as either a seller or purchaser please contact the Blackadders Property Team on 01382 229222 or alternatively email us on property@blackadders.co.uk.