BLACKADDERS – CAMPAIGNING FOR THE SCOTTISH HOUSING MARKET

As part of our campaign to support the Scottish housing market and assist in overcoming the barriers to housing delivery, I am pleased to advise that we have renewed our membership once again for the organisation – Homes for Scotland.

Homes for Scotland plays an important role in ensuring that Scotland is building enough homes of all tenures to meet the diverse housing needs and aspirations of its growing population.  Homes for Scotland is involved with planning, developer contributions, housing policy, building standards, low carbon agenda and many other issues that impact on the Scottish housing market.

LDDLindsay Darroch
Partner
Blackadders LLP
@LindsayDarroch
www.blackadders.co.uk

Properties being sought in East Neuk, Fife

Blackadders are delighted to announce a new property display window within the popular East Neuk village of Anstruther – pictured above is Neil Fyall our Senior Property Manager, outside the new display within Rodger Street, Anstruther.

Blackadders’ Property Services Director Martin Paterson (who lives in Anstruther) comments:  “Over many years we have had many successful sales within the East Neuk of Fife and this display further enhances our commitment to offering property services within the East Neuk of Fife and St Andrews.  Having lived in Anstruther for over 30 years and being involved in the local property market for that time also there is no shortage of expertise in providing free no obligation valuations to all properties within the area.  Buyers traditionally are a mixture of families wishing an excellent family home and a safe and comfortable environment along with people looking for a first time buy or second home.  In years gone by second homes were particularly prevalent in Elie and Earlsferry but this has extended now to all villages throughout the East Neuk of Fife with particular interest recently in properties being sought in both Anstruther and Cellardyke.  Crail has always proved popular particularly with its easy access to some excellent links courses with Pittenweem and St Monans always proving popular due to the many historic and fine features”.

If you would like to arrange a Free, No Obligation, Marketing Appraisal of your home please give our Property Sales Team a call on 01334 800600 (7 days), and either Martin Paterson or Neil Fyall will call out to have an informal chat.

Blackadders LLP
@BlackaddersProperty

www.blackadders.co.uk

Are Legal Standards for Minimum Energy Efficiency for Properties the same North & South of Hadrian’s Wall? 

 

In short the answer is NO.

In England and Wales, regulations which are due to come into force on 1 April 2018 will potentially affect the ability to let out properties and the market value (and marketability) of those properties. The regulations will prevent private Landlords from letting either residential or commercial properties with an Energy Performance Asset Rating (EPAR) lower than E (unless they can point to a specific exemption).

The equivalent regulations for buildings in Scotland do not impose a minimum EPC rating requirement but other measures apply that are already in force for commercial properties.

Landlords, investors, developers and lenders should take note of the differences and not assume energy efficiency policies are the same throughout the UK.

table 1

JM table 2

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*Non Domestic EPC Register for England and Wales
*EPC Register for Scotland

Registers can be searched using the property’s postcode so the easiest way to determine whether or not a valid EPC exists for your property is to check online: Non Domestic EPC Register for England and Wales or EPC Register for Scotland.

If you have any queries regarding energy efficiency requirements for properties, please get in touch with your usual contact in the Property team at Blackadders.


JWMJohn McKie,
Partner

Commercial Property
Blackadders LLP

@LawyerJohnMcKie 
www.blackadders.co.uk

 

IS THIS THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT – PROPERTY MATTERS

Welcome to the first property blog of 2018!  Rest assured that this year will see more property blogs. I predict that 2018 will be a very interesting year for the property market. Before I give you my predictions for 2018 though, how did I get on with my predictions for 2017?

Looking at my blog on the 9th of January last year I predicted a 5% decrease in market activity with a slight increase in house prices averaging around the 2% to 4% mark.  Whilst I think I was correct in relation to the general road of travel, the decrease in activity in the property market (especially in the second half of the year) appears to have been steeper than even I had predicted. As yet, I have not seen the final stats for 2017 and obviously there are geographical differences to take into account, but I would predict that Scotland overall would show a decrease of between 10% and 15% in relation to properties coming on to the market, with a perhaps more significant increase in average house prices, probably around 5%. There have been recent reports advising that November saw the sharpest drop in mortgage approvals for a number of years and as different areas start issuing their stats, I think this general downward trend will be repeated. Dundee flats - LDD blogOn to 2018 and I am actually looking at this year with more optimism than the last year. What is the reason for the optimism? Like a bottle of champagne being constantly shaken, the housing market, with its links to lifestyle choices, will eventually not be contained no matter what the economic background. I suspect that 2018 particularly the second half of the year will show this and although uncertainty around Brexit will continue it will become something that we live with. As economic uncertainty fades and as general lifestyle requirements kick in, I think we will see an increase in activity in the housing market.   I also think that developers sensing the lack of supply and price inflation, have now started to increase their build output. I believe that this will be the oil that greases the wheels of the property market especially if the developers offer part exchange and other incentives.

In relation to specific areas, I would comment as follows:-

1. ABERDEEN & ABERDEENSHIRE – I am starting to see green shoots of activity coming through the Aberdeen property market and whilst it will take some time for the extra stock to clear, I do believe that Aberdeen is on the cusp of recovery. Although we will not get back to the highs of pre 2010, we will over the next 18 months move very quickly towards some form of normality and a free flowing market.

2. DUNDEE – As the V&A moves towards its opening and Dundee Council carry on with their exciting plans for the development of the waterfront area and the city in general, I do think that Dundee is on the cusp of very exciting times in relation to the property market. In particular watch this space in relation to flats down at the waterfront which are looking very reasonably priced and very attractive for investors and also residents.

3. ANGUS – The Angus market continues to prove robust and as Aberdeen continues to improve expect more of this heat to work its way down the coast, in particular Montrose, Brechin, Arbroath, etc.

4. PERTH & PERTHSHIRE – This market is proving very difficult as its driver in the early 2000s was the heat from the Edinburgh market. Unfortunately, I cannot see a big increase in the Perth property market, although I do predict more stability and a slight increase in activity.

5. FIFE – This also appears to be a difficult market, however with some hot spots, St Andrews in particular proving very popular and prices continuing to exceed expectations. Again, I predict a degree of stability in the Fife market.

6. EDINBURGH – I see potential for further growth in the Edinburgh market. I think that the developers will continue to produce stock for this market and as such, I am anticipating some significant growth, both in terms of activity and prices in 2018.

7. GLASGOW & the WEST – Again, I am seeing positive signs and think that in particular the second half of 2018 will show significant increases in activity in the Glasgow market fuelled by a mixture of newbuild development.

Overall, I am predicting a slightly quiet first three months for 2018 with a steady increase in activity for the remainder of the year culminating in activity levels being up by 10% and prices increasing by 5%.  As always, watch out for the first quarter figures as this will be a good indication. The phrase “more optimistic than last year” probably sums up my feelings.

I will continue to provide blogs on aspects of the property market and also watch out for some interesting additions, including “dinners for winners” – my take on the late, Michael Winner’s weekly column in the Sunday Times.

Finally, I would wish all readers a happy and prosperous 2018.

LDDLindsay Darroch
Partner
Blackadders LLP
@LindsayDarroch

www.blackadders.co.uk

 

BREXIT JITTERS

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.

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

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

TAX BREAKS FOR PREFAB HOMES – LET’S GET BRITAIN BUILDING

I was very interested to read an article in The Times on Saturday 7 January 2017 regarding proposals from the UK Government to give tax breaks for a new generation of prefabricated home manufacturers.  This is part of a package to reinvigorate Britain’s failing housing market and to ensure that the government hits its target of building a million new houses in the next five years.  I do think that this is a welcomed proposal as there have been some significant improvements and innovations in the house building process recently and house builders of all sizes should be encouraged through tax breaks to investigate and take advantage of these new techniques.

This article in The Times coincided with a very interesting article I was reading by Graham Norwood in which he led the call for more direct housing i.e. council house/housing association properties, making the point over the last few years successive governments of varying political hues have failed to inspire the house builders to increase the amount of properties that are being built.  I am a great believer and in fact think that it is of fundamental importance to society that people have the opportunity to live in quality housing.  The scourge of homelessness and dilapidated properties is one that desperately needs to be tackled.

I feel that it is important that for both political and economic reasons that our society is underpinned by home ownership.  I have detailed in previous blogs the assistance that I think requires to be given to first time buyers and I would wholeheartedly support any incentives to help builders increase the amount of properties that are being built but I do also think that there should be a controlled increase in the amount of social housing being built.  I very much liked Graham Norwood’s suggestion of “community housing” although it is interesting that as part of his article he does state that he would much prefer to live in a privately owned property than one that is either council or community owned.  For this reason I would advocate a return to some form of controlled right to buy with strict rules and guidelines in relation to properties being built and, for every property sold under right to buy, a certain number would be required to be built to replace them.  I think that some form of right to buy or shared equity scheme could be used to assist people to actually get on the housing ladder and might be a means of controlling house prices.  I will explore this theme further over the weeks to come.

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