Perthshire Market Summary – March 2017

The spring market would appear to have started early this year with the number of new properties coming to the market and viewing figures both up considerably compared to 2016 statistics.  It’s still a great time to buy with interest rates held at an all-time low and banks offering finance with as little as a 5% deposit.  We also have a stable market in Perthshire with no dramatic price swings in recent years with many properties selling for around Home Report valuation.

10 Reasons to use Blackadders to deal with your Estate Agency and Conveyancing:

  • Estate Agency and legal teams all under the one roof
  • Members of Scotland’s Solicitors Property Centres giving your property maximum exposure
  • Efficient and cost effective – one firm dealing with the entire transaction
  • Lawyers on hand to answer any technical questions from interested parties regarding title deeds
  • Experienced negotiators helping to obtain the best price for your property
  • Offices throughout Scotland with local property teams who have local property market knowledge
  • Up-to-date buyers’ database
  • Full service firm including advice on asset protection, wills, divorce and family law, wealth management plus access to residential and commercial finance
  • Highest professional standards
  • Trustworthy and accountable as we are regulated by The Law Society of Scotland

Euan Stewart
Property Valuer – Perth
www.blackadders.co.uk

STAGNATION NOT BUBBLES – PART 3

Readers of previous blogs will recognise the above which has actually headlined two previous blogs. I thought this was an apt headline once again for my February update. From a very interesting article in The Times in the middle of February predicting the lowest number of transactions completed in the UK housing market for 2017 since the market recovered from the post 2008 slump to my own experiences of the market Scottish wide I am concerned regarding the lack of properties coming onto the market. Whilst I am still awaiting official figures my feeling is that February will be one of the worst months ever for new properties coming on to the market. With January and February combined probably showing a decrease of somewhere between 15% and 25% Scottish wide. My feeling is that at this stage sales are holding up whilst maybe even slightly increasing thus reducing stock levels to unsustainably low levels and also driving up prices and activity, in certain areas and for certain property types, again to unsustainable levels. The Aberdeen market continues to toil with a lot of sellers still not fully accepting the reduction in value to their property that is required to obtain a sale. What is causing this market anomaly? I think probably a number of factors are leading to uncertainty and uncertainty is, like the small snowball that starts rolling down the mountain side turning into a self-fulfilling avalanche. Economic uncertainty from brexit, global uncertainty from the United States, the constant talk of Inde2 coupled with some Scottish government policies that are anti home owner in particular the LBTT have all had a significant dampening effect on the market. It is always too early to write off a market after just two months especially the January and February months but unless there is a massive upswing at the end of March heralding a surge in activity in quarter 2 then I do fear that the housing market is in for a very bumpy ride. I will keep you further updated as and when the official stats come in.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property
@LindsayDarroch

www.blackadders.co.uk

CHANGES TO STAMP DUTY

I was interested to see that a second London agent is calling on the Chancellor to consider amending Stamp Duty and making this a tax that is payable by the seller rather than the buyer.  Another agent is asking for it to be split between vendor and purchaser.  Jeremy Leaf, former RICS Residential Chairman, is calling for help for downsizers and first time buyers by way of Stamp Duty concessions to stimulate more transactions. “If sellers, rather than purchasers, pay stamp duty, activity will increase especially if house building picks up too – bearing in mind the increasingly high proportion of first-time buyers who pay [SDLT] now”; says Leaf. He says high Stamp Duty levied on buyers is stopping transactions across the housing market, not just at the top end but also amongst first time buyers.

While these comments are very London based, readers of previous blogs will know my views are that LBTT in Scotland has had a dampening effect on the housing market and with the addition of the Additional Dwelling Supplement this is making market conditions very difficult.  I would be asking the Scottish Government to reduce the rate of the “ADS”, increase the bandings for LBTT and create a pot for first time buyers funded by way of amendment to Capital Gains Tax regulations to ensure that if anybody sells a property, even if it is their sole or main dwelling house, within seven years of purchasing it then a certain portion of the gain should be taxed at CGT levels.  I think this will remove some of the burden from the house purchaser and, in my view, paying a tax from excess profit is always a less painful way of doing it.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property
@LindsayDarroch

www.blackadders.co.uk

LIST YOUR PROPERTY TODAY AND PAY NOTHING UPFRONT

As part of our further campaign to improve the house buying and selling process in Scotland we are running, in the months of February and March, a no upfront cost deal.  You can list your property anywhere in Scotland and not pay anything upfront.  Terms and Conditions do apply.  I attach a copy of the flyer and please do not hesitate to contact any of my estate agency colleagues for further information.

42144-blackadders-dm-jan-mar-31_front

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property
www.blackadders.co.uk  

MORTGAGES AND PROPERTY

I would say that now more than ever it is important that when you are looking to purchase a property that you have your mortgage in place and agreed in principle before offering.  More and more lenders are reducing the services that they provide for walk in customers and with this in mind I think that it is important that when you are looking for mortgages that you take independent financial advice.  To provide support for clients old and new we have arranged mortgage clinics within our Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, Arbroath and Forfar property shops in association with Carrington Mortgage UK.

Our latest mortgage clinics are held on Thursday 23 March 2017 and are open between 10.00am to 4.00pm.  If you are requiring mortgage advice please feel free to drop in to one of the clinics to have an informal chat with one of Carrington’s mortgage experts or alternatively contact us to arrange a formal appointment.  This service is part of our campaign to improve the property buying and selling process in Scotland.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property
www.blackadders.co.uk  

Aberdeen Housing Market – Not All Doom and Gloom!

The Aberdeen housing market has seen some turbulent times in the past 18 months but is the decline beginning to change?

There is no doubt that there are winners and losers in any changing market, but I think we can all agree that there has never been a better time to buy property in Aberdeen.

Property prices have been steadily falling – a direct result of the oil and gas downturn. This has provided many with an opportunity to invest in properties which in previous years they couldn’t perhaps afford.

When I first joined Blackadders in the Granite City just over two years ago, it came as quite a surprise to me that whatever the property, the expectation was that it would achieve over the Home Report value. This has never really been seen in any other part of Scotland that I have worked in and at some point had to change.

I believe – as many estate agents and solicitors do – that there is a slight increase in confidence about buying again in Aberdeen and there are a number of factors behind this. Firstly, I think that purchasers now have a good understanding of what they will have to pay. Another reason is the fear of oil & gas job losses is starting to ease. For many of those who work in the industry, the feeling is that the majority of these job losses have already happened. If you were thinking of moving last year and still find yourself in employment, there is every chance you will now feel more confident about making that decision.

I also believe that vendors are more accepting that they will achieve around the Home Report value but this has taken a while which is completely understandable, considering the level of offer previously they would have expected to achieve.

As I mentioned, there are winners and losers in the property market. However, there is a new middle market emerging that is starting to help the market pick up in Aberdeen.  This is predominantly made up of those who previously wouldn’t have been able to move up the property ladder as they would have been most likely have been outbid by oil money.  One client recently explained to me, “It is now my time.

There is also evidence that suggests that the decline of oil and gas prices is now in reverse and although the high property prices achieved during the good times are almost certainly a thing of the past, the recent stability of oil prices bodes well for future investment in the industry.

Aberdeen is well placed to profit from such investment and the benefits that it would bring to the local housing market.

If you are thinking of putting your property on the market, we are currently running an offer where we will allow you to list your property with no upfront costs. For more information, please contact our team.

 

Marie Clark
Branch Manager – Aberdeen
www.blackadders.co.uk

Property Market – January Update

Although I have not seen any official statistics for the property market in January, my feeling from the discussions that I have had is that the market is patchy at best and that most areas – although not all – are showing stock levels similar to 2016 with most down.  Sales activity appears to be holding up and because of the lack of stock I would definitely think that there has been an increase in prices for certain properties in certain areas.

I await the government’s report on housing with interest and hope that there is a bold response.  My broad brush approach is as follows:

  • Encouragement to developers with the relaxation of some planning regulations.
  • Support for housing associations in the building of new or refurbishment of existing properties.
  • Targeted support for first time buyers to encourage them to purchase more traditional type properties.
  • A grant system for first time buyers who purchase more traditional type properties to assist them with certain refurbishments and renovations, especially those that improve the energy efficiency of the property.
  • A change to the Council Tax rules where there is a reward for people who make their houses more energy efficient.

I will continue to update you on trends.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property
@LindsayDarroch

www.blackadders.co.uk