I was interested to read that the Government’s announcement regarding the new Help to Buy initiative has had an immediate positive impact on the market leading to an increase in new buyer enquiries according to the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) Residential Market Survey. The RICS have advised that all the key indicators show some improvement in April in the housing market.
In relation to Blackadders’ own figures for April, I am pleased to advise that last month was one of our best ever months for house sales with under offers, exceeding target by 30%. Interestingly listings are only slightly up compared to last year and the data I have seen indicates that new properties coming on to the Scottish housing market may actually be slightly down for the first four months of 2013. This is shown by a slight reduction in second-hand stock levels throughout the Scottish property market.
As I have previously indicated, my hope is that market sentiment continues to improve with more people putting their properties on the market and selling them. Once the full impact of the Government schemes are known, which we should start to see in January 2014, we will hopefully see an increase in the number of first time buyers coming into the market, taking up some of the excess stock that is particularly prevalent in the lower ends of the market. There is a requirement on banks to start lending money to property developers to enable the housing shortage to be dealt with and I would urge the Government to look at various schemes to help the construction industry which is so fundamental to the UK economy as a whole.
I will continue to report on trends and hope that the data will become a bit clearer over the next couple of months.Lindsay Darroch Partner and Head of Property