The property market in Scotland is still very gloomy, judging by recent statistics. Over the summer the number of house sales recorded was down to half the number sold in 2013 and 2014, just before the recession gripped the whole of the UK.
The Scottish property market has suffered badly during the current downturn and there is no sign of any improvement, with the average property now being worth 2.3% less than it would have been at the same time last year.
Over the summer period of July to September, which is traditionally one of the busiest times for house sales across the country there were just less than twenty thousand properties sold. This is the lowest number of house sales for nearly ten years.
Despite the Government trying to kick start the property market and pledges to build more homes, 2012 saw sales decrease by 2.1% eight and the average residential house is now worth just short of £160,000.
It is thought that the possibility of a referendum on whether Scotland should become independent is worrying many buyers and stopping any growth in the property market and the general concern of the recession and whether the worst is over, is also stopping people moving house or taking the plunge to get on the property ladder. Many people are not willing to commit to a property purchase until the vote on independence is done and dusted.
The recent figures are the lowest sales figures since the Registers of Scotland started keeping records back in 2003. The figures also show a marked difference between regions in Scotland. Some are even showing a steady growth, while in other areas there is a definite stagnation in the market and fall in figures.
The main cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh showed the most sales, although average house prices had still gone down. Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, recorded 2198 house sales during the summer sales, but with the average house price down by 5.1%. Edinburgh is still the most expensive place to buy a house in Scotland, next is East Dunbartonshire, which saw a large 10.5% rise in sales and an 8% increase in house price and East Lothian.
Surprisingly the Orkney Isles showed the largest rise in house values. Prices there went up by 16% giving an average property price of just over £134,000. The biggest fall in house prices was in Argyll and Bute, where prices dropped by 12.7%, although that meant the average property was still worth £143,590.
The overall drop in property prices was good news for first time buyers in Scotland, making houses more affordable. But more regulations and restrictions in lending meant it is still very difficult to get a mortgage. Many people in Scotland are living in rented accommodation, trying to save the deposit for a house and hope that sooner or later they will be able to qualify for a mortgage.
In my next post, I want to contrast this dire situation in Scotland with the insane market in London, where things couldn’t be more different. Check back soon to see how things have changed.