The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Scottish housing market summer holiday comes early this year

Scottish home buyers appeared to have taken an early holiday as demand for property disappeared in June, ahead of the usual summer slow down of the housing market in July and August says the latest RICS UK Housing Market survey.

[Pictured: RICS Scotland director Graeme Hartley.]

June had fewer buyer enquiries than any other month this year. The number of agreed sales also dipped in June. Traditionally June remains a busy time for buyers and sellers and it is July and August which are quieter due to holidays. Sellers however did not take a ‘holiday’ and property continued to go on the market in Scotland. The high number of properties on the market but low number of purchasers puts buyers in a strong negotiating position.

However, chartered surveyors note that because the market remains difficult to access, the only buyers who can really be considered serious are those who have already sold their property, or have a mortgage agreement in place.

Chartered surveyors say that properties are still selling, but only if priced realistically. They also report that homes in good condition are selling more easily than property requiring work and that 25% of sellers are improving their property before having the Home Report carried out to give them the best possible chance of selling. (Home Reports are required by law for the majority of properties before going on the market.)

House prices continued to slip across the UK with London the only area immune. In Scotland 25% of surveyors said prices had fallen, 71% said they had stayed the same and just 4% said they had risen.

Commenting, RICS Scotland director Graeme Hartley said: “The traditional ‘summer holiday’ for the housing market came early for Scotland with fewer buyers around and less sales. But because property is still coming on the market, buyers are in a good position to negotiate. With continued uncertainty over the jobs market and the economy, this subdued picture is set to continue.”

RICS housing market survey is the longest running monthly survey of house prices in the UK, collecting data since January 1978. The survey is cited by the Bank of England's monetary policy committee at its monthly interest rate setting meetings.

About RICS Scotland

RICS Scotland is a national association of RICS. RICS Scotland has over 11,000 members. Managed from its offices in Edinburgh the focus of RICS Scotland is to develop, maintain, uphold and promote the standards, knowledge and skills of its members always acting in the public interest. RICS Scotland enjoys a degree of autonomy due to differences in Scottish Law and practice. It holds a significant role within the professional and business community in Scotland, working with central and local government and educational institutions in Scotland.

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