The housing market in Scotland still appears to be buoyant and showing rises, despite the credit crunch and mortgage difficulties. Although economists are predicting house prices will continue to slow in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, they are forecasting the opposite in Scotland in the remainder of 2008. They are anticipating prices to ‘buck the downward trend’ with most areas recording an increase, north of the border.
Aberdeen’s average price rose by 26 per cent last year, thanks to a strong local economy, but growth is expected to be less this year. Dundee is also expected to slow following its 18 per cent average rise also last year. First quarter figures point to house price growth in Edinburgh and Glasgow being around 2 per cent, compared with the double digit rises in recent years.
Graeme Hartley, director of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Scotland) said, “The general feeling within the industry points to the Scottish market holding up well. The figures reflect a hosing market that is holding its breath, waiting to see what will happen in the financial markets, but certainly not one heading for a crash. In fact, it is quite the opposite in Scotland.”
Peter Lydell, director of estate agent Savills, said, “The next three months will tell us exactly what the market is doing.” He did not believe there had been a decrease in property values at the top end of the market so far this year.
Despite the continuing rise in prices, new buyer enquiries fell last month. The RICS recent survey found that first-time buyer enquiries had fallen for the third consecutive month and at the fastest rate since April 2007. The RICS suggests many first-time buyers were either struggling to raise the necessary deposit, or exercise caution in the light of current economic conditions, for this sudden decline.
The next few months will be an interesting period, but would-be-buyers whom are able to provide large deposits may see this market as opportunity to take advantage of the slowing market!
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