I was interested to read research from consumer group Home Owners Alliance which advises that more than a million UK adults have shelved plans to purchase a new home because of the vote to leave the EU, economic uncertainty, mortgage restrictions and high house prices. I also think that the possibility of Indy2 is having an impact in Scotland as are the changes last year to LBTT. I will give you my March report as soon as I have further stats.
As readers of previous blogs will know I am concerned regarding the lack of second hand property coming on to the market. This is causing distortion in price and could lead to stagnation. I am very pleased to see the increased number of developments that are proposed or are coming to the market and I am particularly pleased to see an increase in activity from the Blackadders new build team.
I am delighted that we are involved with the bringing to the market of the Trust House Development in Liff. This development consists of five two bedroom flats, one three bedroom flat and two townhouses which have been developed to a very high standard by developers Mike and Lisa Mitchell working closely with Jon Frullani Architects. The Blackadders new build team have also been involved and I am delighted that these very attractive and unique properties are now on the market. This is a unique development that has been carried out to a very high standard and combines the character of living in an old property with the fittings of a new property. The location gives country living within 10 minutes of the City Centre. With prices starting at £160,000 please call Blackadders estate agency team on 01382 342222 to arrange a viewing of what I am sure will be a very popular development.
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
Property Valuer – Perth
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.
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.
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.
Partner – Head of 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.
Partner – Head of Property