The Scottish property market is likely to remain stable throughout 2011 with any slight house price rises only being due to inflation, according to Edinburgh’s leading property solicitor.
Warners believes that the property market will remain largely unchanged for the next 12 months due to dwindling confidence among buyers and sellers, as well as fears over job security arising from the ongoing public sector cuts.
The firm says that that is does not expect to see any significant rise in house prices or sales in the coming year –and adds that only inflation or a prolonged lack of supply of property on the market will lead to any change in home values.
But although Warners believes that it could be up to five years before the country’s property market sees any substantial progress in terms of house prices, it also says that buyers and sellers will still be able to move home easily provided they have realistic expectations about how much they expect for their homes.
Scott Brown, estate agency partner at Warners, said: “Although it’s always difficult to predict what the future will bring for the property market, I think it’s highly likely that 2011 will be fairly flat.
“It’s unlikely that there will be much change in terms of house prices and even if there are any slight price rises, these will occur primarily because of inflation – as interest rates will probably remain low in 2011 to allow business to recover. The only other upwards pressure on prices could come as a result of the continued lack of supply of property to the market – which will lead to increased competition among buyers and possibly push up prices as a result.
“It’s important to also remember that 2011 will be the year where there will be clear cuts in the public sector and this may affect confidence among buyers and sellers – particularly in cities like Edinburgh which have a large number of public sector workers who will be worried about job security.
“However, I also believe that buyers and sellers will still be able to achieve a sale throughout the year, provided that they are realistic about their expectations. There are many people who still want to move house for various different personal reasons – such as getting married, having a baby or getting divorced – and a flat property market will not stop them from doing so.
“In 2010 Warners has sold around 600 homes, which is up 10% on 2009’s levels. I expect that stability to continue and for homes that are well marketed and correctly priced to sell well.”
“There has been a growing sense of realism in the market for some time now, and people have come to terms with the fact that they can’t sell their house for the same price they bought it for in 2007, during the peak. Their expectations are more realistic and this is helping to keep sales fairly constant – and I predict that this will continue over the coming year.”
Warners, which has four property shops in Edinburgh, has been the Capital’s leading property solicitor in terms of property sales and listings for the past 11 years.
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