House Prices in Scotland
Over the past year we have seen house prices rise at an unprecedented rate here in Scotland. Why has this happened?
The pandemic effectively paused all new property transactions from March 2020 until the end of June 2020. This caused pent-up demand as people had put their plans on hold. What’s more, as we were all confined to our homes for months, there was a demand for more space to accommodate families working and schooling from home. Given that we were only able to leave our homes once a day for exercise, those without gardens or outside space prioritised living in a home with access to a garden or within proximity to parks and green spaces. There was also a move away from city centres to more rural areas.
As the government announced a tax break so that buyers didn’t have to pay stamp duty – LBTT here in Scotland – this gave a further boost to the property market.
In terms of borrowing, mortgage rates were still historically low following the re-opening of the property market – and this combined with the LBTT holiday – promoted many people to move, especially those at the upper end of the property market where large savings could be made. However, this had a knock-on effect at the lower end of the market as homes became available.
Although lenders largely withdrew high LTV mortgages, meaning that those with only a 5% or 10% mortgage were unable to secure a mortgage offer, the government announced the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme. This meant that the government would support a new generation in buying their own home. It increased the availability of 95% Loan-to-value mortgage products, enabling more households to access mortgages without the need for large deposits.
We have also seen a number of people moving from London to Scotland to take advantage of the larger homes and increased quality of life due to the affordability of living here
In summary, low mortgage rates, a re-evaluation of buyers’ needs, a move from large cities to more rural areas, the availability of 95% mortgages and the tax holiday, resulted in the most buoyant property market seen for many years. Property prices have steadily gone up and offers over the Home Report Value have been seen across all property types.
According to the latest figures from Chartered Surveyor Walker Fraser Steele, house price growth in Scotland has been the highest across the whole of the UK. House prices have increased by 13.2% (in the 12 months to September) with the average property price standing at £212,832 after an increase of £25,000.
Prices went up for over half of all Local Authority areas of Scotland with the largest increase standing at an incredible 6.3% in Inverclyde. This was followed by East Dunbartonshire with an increase of 5.2%.
According to the Registers of Scotland (ROS) the increase is even higher. It has reported that the average price of a property in Scotland in August 2021 was £180,832, an increase of 16.9% on August 2020.
Detached properties showed the largest increase in average house price, rising by 21.3% in the 12 months to August 2021 to £319,985. Apartments showed the smallest increase, rising by 12.6% in the year to August 2021 to £124,949.
Purchasing at a fixed price
A newly built property is your chance for a fresh start – a home that is clean, bright and new – a blank canvas for you to put your own stamp.
Being new, your home will be highly energy efficient and cheaper to run than an existing property. It will have been built to the latest environmental standards. Your carbon footprint will be lower and compared to an older property you can save a large amount of money annually. A new home has a brand new, efficient heating system, insulation and double glazing along with energy efficient new large appliances.
What’s more you won’t be in an ‘offers over’ situation and paying possibly more than it is worth – the price is fixed and fair, and often new build homes are competitively priced in order for them to sell swiftly.
When buying a newly built home, you aren’t in a purchasing chain. You pay a reservation fee and it’s yours – making the process much less stressful. What’s more, you can move in as soon as you’re ready without having to take into consideration a seller’s plans – so from the start there is no uncertainty.