The property market has always been of interest to people, whether they are home owners or tenants, first time buyers or downsizers. They may have considerable sums invested or just be looking to enter the market.
Since the credit crunch of 2008-9 the value of property has become of even more interest to most of us. As an agent with offices in six locations, I am fortunate in being able to identify themes or trends that arise across different geographical locations.
Whatever the trends, there are always “hot-spots” – places that generate demand that outperforms other areas.
Current hotspots include Aberdeen with its strong oil-based economy, central Edinburgh with the financial services infrastructure and East Lothian with its lifestyle and transport links.
When the proposed Galashiels to Edinburgh rail link becomes a reality, we would hope to see various hot-spots appearing in the Borders, and a revitalised housing market in the region.
Our Edinburgh office recently sold 11 properties in a development in the city’s West End. Despite challenging market conditions, a half-finished tram line across the road and numerous other properties on the market at the time, we were successful in selling all 11 properties within two months of the launch. How? We had a realistic client who was confident in the advice that we gave regarding the pricing strategy.
It is this realism which separates those vendors whose properties sell with those whose remain on the market for months or even years.
In January of 2013, our Edinburgh residential property department received acceptable offers for 35 properties, at a time of year that is normally challenging. The common theme was a sensible asking price. Two of the 35 properties in January were sold within 24 hours of being on the market. Again, the asking price was sensible and the owners were realistic.
Our Glasgow office also has reason to be cheerful – one property in January received 13 notes of interest before selling for 20 per cent above the valuation. The deciding factor again was the asking price. The property was in a desirable area but in very poor condition. The client took our advice in keeping the price at a sensible level and the market delivered an outstanding result.
I am often having conversations with clients who are keen to point out that their property has not sold because it is near the motorway, airport, railway line or electricity substation.
The reality is that the price has to reflect the proximity of such factors. Of course we would take into account the general condition of the property and the availability of good local amenities, but fundamentally the issue is price.
Across all our offices, we have demonstrated that there is a market: offers are being made and accepted, people are looking to move. But in any market there is an optimum price, above which a deal will not be done.
Get the price right and you can be one of those to move house this spring!
Maurice Allan is the residential property managing director at Lindsays. E: firstname.lastname@example.org; T: 01835 862017