Looking back to 2013, the Scottish property market had certainly started to pick up post-recession, with a lot of increased activity which was very encouraging but there was still little movement in prices. As we entered 2014 however, the property market continued to improve with marked increases in activity and certain hotspots showing signs of price rises, most noticeably in the main cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. In Edinburgh, statistics show a general uplift in activity of over 30% year on year with last year, an average price rise of 2.4%. With the introduction of government led initiatives aimed at first time buyers as well as a general upturn, the new build sector in particular, seems to have performed well.
That all said, the changes introduced to lending requirements earlier this year which banks must adhere to following the mortgage market review, have undoubtedly made it more difficult for many would be buyers to secure mortgage funding, no doubt a major factor contributing to the marked increase in the private home rental sector where we have seen some growth including an increase in rents being achieved over the last year, particularly in the main cities. Investors in certain Scottish hotspots are also obtaining higher yields than the national average.
There is no doubt that the Scottish Independence Referendum did have an impact on property markets over the summer with the uncertainty having an effect on both sellers and buyers both in Scotland and investors from elsewhere in the UK and overseas. Two weeks on from that however, we have seen a surge in activity with more and more properties coming to market and buyers seeming much more confident to progress with purchases. We expect to see increased movement over the next couple of months and are therefore looking forward to the last quarter of the year which by all accounts is set to be a busy one!