It has been a very interesting start to the year for the property market. After a very sluggish start in January, the number of new properties coming on to the market across Scotland picked up, with March being one of the best months ever. Although numbers were still considerably below peak market levels of 2007, Quarter 1 of 2016 was certainly moving in the right direction.
The extra properties coming on to the market were also reflective in the increase in purchases, which was driven to extreme levels in March with the introduction of the additional dwelling supplement coming in on the 1st April. This caused property investors to make purchases early to avoid the 3% surcharge (more on this in another blog). As an aside, I am still not noticing any cooling off with property investor activity although it is perhaps too early to say at this stage what the rest of the year will be like.
Developers continue to play their part with new sites coming on line and incentives, such as part exchange, being used where necessary. My feeling is that Quarter 2 will follow a similar pattern with April being slightly quieter but with a pick-up in May and June, with hopefully higher levels than 2015.
The main exception for the Scottish market is in relation to Aberdeen, which is going through a correction and I think 2016 will be a tough time for that market – again a blog to follow.
Partner – Head of Property