Once again Morton Fraser took a table at the Homes for Scotland Annual Lunch and sponsored the Lifetime Achievement award which was won this year by Stewart Milne. The lunch was attended by more than 800 people - a far cry from the 450 or so who attended at the height of the economic crisis.
There is definitely an air of optimism - perhaps even confidence - that the worst is behind us. The Government Help to Buy scheme has proved to be invaluable in unlocking funding to house purchasers. That, in turn, has led to increased sales not only in the new build housing market but also in the second hand market.
Closing dates are re-appearing for properties in various areas. In my own village in Renfrewshire, a "For Sale" sign was erected with an "Under offer" sign already emblazoned across it! A number of other properties are stated to be "under offer" less than a week from the For Sale boards appearing. This is all in a village where very few properties were marketed over the last few years and those that were advertised for sale took months, if not years, to attract buyers - who purchased at less than the asking price.
Will it continue?
The question is - will it continue? I think that Scotland is holding its breath, waiting for the outcome of the independence referendum. There are outside investors standing in the wings and I anticipate that a "no" vote will see them moving forward with their investments. I have no idea what the impact of a "yes" vote will be - only time will tell.
However, irrespective of the outcome of the vote, the population is growing and people need somewhere to live. So, as long as funding is still available and people are wanting/needing to buy or, indeed, rent, residential properties then the builders will continue to build irrespective of the outcome of the independence vote.
If you would like to discuss these issues further, please contact us.