Scottish Property magazine

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'The summer of 2013'
when the housing market changed

The summer of '69 was indeed a memorable year for a certain Bryan Adams and music lovers in general. 44 years later it seems like 2013 is going to be remembered as the summer the housing market in Scotland finally awoke from the worst double dip recession since the Second World War, as house buyers returned to the marketplace in their biggest numbers in four years during the second quarter of 2013.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Market Survey indicated that during July the amount of potential buyers looking to enter the marketplace grew at the fastest rate since July 2009, as chartered surveyors reported increases in demand. By August price rises were being predicted to continue steadily as RICS's residential market survey for August also said a balance of 43% more surveyors expect further price growth in Scotland. By early September RICS's Scotland director Sarah Speirs said: "We are starting to see more people return to the housing market. There are buyers are out there and prices are edging upwards".

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that prices in the year to June rose by 3.1%; up from 2.9% in May and RICS reported that prices were rising at their fastest since November 2006.

When asked about their statistics for the summer Neil Harrison, Marketing Manager with the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre told us, "During May, June and July there was a 24% increase in sales when the

market year on year. Also, as part of our regular brand research we asked about peoples' intentions in terms of buying property. When did they feel they'd be looking to buy their next property (with an upper limit of the next 5 years)? We have been tracking this buyer intention for the last 3 years and in the summer of 2013 saw an improvement in terms of interest in buying property among the general public."

2013 is going to be remembered as the summer the housing market in Scotland finally awoke

David Marshall, business analyst with ESPC commented: "Market conditions improved for sellers mid 2013 but the balance of power still slightly favoured buyers. The majority of homes were still being secured for less than their original Home Report valuation, though it's worth noting that the percentage of sales where the valuation was achieved rose from 30.9% to 37.8% over the last year."

Ivan Ralph, Senior Partner at McEwan Fraser Legal said, "We brought a record number of 139 new properties onto the market in July and August 2013. The summer of 2013 clearly saw a steady surge in the number of properties we were selling since the start of the year. We also saw a definite increase in the number of our clients moving on to purchase new homes. No doubt government initiatives in Scotland such as the LIFT (Low Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers) scheme, Mi New Home and other shared equity options have influenced this increase. We started our business at the onset of the recession and tailored our service to attract buyers and instill confidence back into sellers, so it was really good to see the housing market in Scotland turn the corner in the Summer of 2013".

"The summer of 2013 saw an improvement in terms of interest in buying property among the general public"

According to the CML (Council of Mortgage Lenders) lending to first time buyers in Scotland increased substantially in the second quarter of 2013, up 33% compared with the 2012. The increase accounted for the largest total in a single quarter since the middle of 2008 with first time buyers taking out 6,500 loans.

The value of these loans came to £630 million, up 40% compared to the same period in 2012.

Ian Malloch, Chair of CML Scotland said "The positive growth in lending to both first time buyers and home movers has led to a welcome increase in lending for house purchasers in Scotland. With comparatively lower prices in Scotland than in the UK as a whole, first time buyers are able to borrow less relative to income. There is clearly value in the Scottish market which provides a great opportunity to get on the housing ladder."

As well as first time buyers, loans to home movers in Scotland increased in the second quarter of 2013 with 8,100 loans advanced to home movers this quarter, an increase of 47% compared to the first quarter and up by 5% on the second quarter of 2012.

All in all the summer of 2013 didn't last forever, but it was at least a memorable summer for the housing market in Scotland.

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