In the first quarter of 2020, the Scottish property market enjoyed a surge in activity and an increase in house and flat prices. Then Covid-19 came along and paralysed the country and our housing market.
For the months the UK spent in lockdown, the property market came to an almost complete standstill. When the government eased the restrictions and allowed us to visit other households again, the market picked up more rapidly.
Even if moving is not on your radar at the moment, the current state of the property market in Scotland might be a good reason to consider selling your property and move to a new home.
Why is now a good time to move house?
Read on to find out if now is the best time for moving home in the UK and Scotland.
After lockdown ended in June, the Scottish property market moved from almost stagnant to a “mini-boom” that rushed estate agents off their feet with new listings and sales.
New listings in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders alone experienced a 44.4% year-on-year increase during the summer. Since reopening in July, Greater Glasgow’s property market grew by 44% more agreed sales compared to 2019. Glasgow-based estate agents reported the market is busier than ever, with more buyers looking to switch to new ways of living.
In Stirlingshire, sales agreed between July and September 2020 were 49% higher compared to the same time last year, and in Fife, the total number of new house listings is also higher compared to 2019 figures. The average selling time for properties in East Fife has also decreased to 33 days (compared to 55 days in 2019).
The steady flow of new properties coming to market gives buyers more options to choose from but also increases the competition for their dream homes. So whether you want to get on the property ladder, move home, or buy an additional property, now is an excellent time to make a move.
In December 2020, the average house price in Glasgow is around £193,000, which is almost a 5% increase from December 2019. Houses sold for about £172,000 and flats for £149,000 and the right properties continue to attract multiple offers and selling quickly in Scotland’s largest city.
In Stirling, the average property price was £219,000 this month, which is nearly 9.0% more than 12 months ago. In terms of property types, Stirling flats sold for an average of £163,000 and terraced houses for around £173,000.
Looking at Fife, flats now sell for approximately £122,000 while terraced houses sell for around £138,000. The average price for property in Fife this month is £178,000, showing 5.80% year-on-year increase. Notably, this year the average cost of a home in Dunfermline rose by a whopping 16% year-on-year to around £190,000. Three-bedroom houses in Dunfermline were the top-selling properties between September and December 2020 in Fife.
Although the average price of properties coming to market in the UK dipped by 0.5% (-£1,505) from last month despite continuing strong buyer demand. So get your home on the market while demand is still high to get the best price.
On July 15th, the Scottish government raised the starting threshold temporarily for LBTT to £250,000 for residential property transactions (from £145,000). This move meant that 8 out of 10 homebuyers would pay no LBTT on property purchases.
The LBTT holiday ends in March 2021 and the market is highly active with homebuyers trying to close a sale on their dream home while the holiday is still in place.
To make sure you don’t miss the LBTT holiday deadline it’s best to plan well ahead particularly if you need to sell your current property before you can make a move on a new one. Because selling and buying a new property takes time, you should move now to have enough time to close a deal before the holiday ends.
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Bank of England slashed interest rates twice in March down to a nominal 0.1% where they remain today. This year UK lenders released some of the cheapest mortgage rates in history, especially when borrowers pay a deposit of 40% or more of the property value.
HSBC offered a two-year fixed-rate mortgage priced 1.14% for a £999 fee and a five-year equivalent deal priced at 1.34%.
As of December 8 2020, Nationwide cut the rates on its two-year fixes by 0.15%, meaning it now offers a two-year fixed rate of 2.84 % with a £999 fee or 3.09% without a fee, and trackers at 85% Loan To Value (LTV). These new deals are available to first-time buyers, remortgage and existing customers moving home.
While mortgage rates are still relatively low, they are likely to increase over the next few months, so it’s a good idea to apply soon to get the best rate possible.
The Scottish property market is still unpredictable as we slowly but surely beat Covid-19 and return to normal. There are numerous opportunities open whether you’re a first-time buyer, or a home-owner looking for a new property.
Buying and selling a property is tricky enough at the best of times, never mind during a global pandemic. Getting a Home Report early will help you prepare and reassure your potential buyers. Read our guide to learn more about Home Reports and what documents are included.
If you have any questions about buying or selling property or would like to ask us for more information, give us a call 0131 608 0175 or email email@example.com.