All the pundits are predicting a housing boom. Some doomsayers are even predicting a housing bubble!
Amazing to think that, only a year ago, there was still a lot of doubt. Not any more…
I think we can well and truly say that the market is improving rapidly. Sales are up substantially, here in Caithness and Sutherland.
As for prices, it is interesting to see that, wherever in Scotland you are, the average asking price is significantly higher than the price that is finally accepted.
S1 Homes has worked out that the figure accepted by the average seller was over 8% less than the asking price . The average house sale in Scotland, at £153,102, was £14,500 below the average asking price, they calculate.
Since the advent of Home Reports, the asking price is usually that found in the Home Report and we are finding that eventual selling prices are usually between 5% and 10% less than that.
RICS say that “looking ahead, it seems that prices across the country are going to continue to rise, with a net balance of 29% more Scottish surveyors predicting increases over the next three months and 56% more over the next year.”
I hope this is true but I have spoken to many colleagues throughout the country and I have yet to find one who is experiencing consistently rising prices. Indeed, when you read the commentary of the various RICS Scottish regional pundits, it is nothing like as upbeat, with virtually only Edinburgh reporting closing dates and above Home Report prices.
Examination of the Registers of Scotland price data shows a negligible increase in prices over the last year. About £200 on the average price, they report, of £156,000. This disguises some significant regional differences but the good news is that Highland is up – even if it is only by 0.8%.
Perhaps it is that surveyors are marking up the prices in new Home Reports. I, certainly, hope so!
So I would agree with those who say that there is a boom but there is certainly not a bubble. A bubble only occurs where prices rise substantially. That may be happening in England but I do not see the evidence for it in Scotland. This is, undoubtedly, good news as we do not want to see tearaway inflation ever again.
Meantime, the good news is, undoubtedly, that if you want to sell your home there are many more buyers out there than they used to be.
Bruce de Wert
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