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Housing Market Review April/May 2018

Whilst statistics can never be ignored, figures released by Aberdeen Solicitors Property Centre in the last few days would have us believe that this has been a disappointing first quarter in the City.

The annual house price average in Aberdeen city and suburbs is -3.3%, with the first months of 2018 said to have been affected by the prolonged winter.

Whilst this has been our experience, perhaps not surprisingly, with more rural properties, in the city we have found the first quarter of 2018 to be far more buoyant than in the last two years with good interest being shown in most of the new properties being brought to the market and closing dates on a number of mid-range houses in particular.

The increase in oil exploration and production is again bringing employment to the north-east with a number of potential buyers moving for work either from overseas or from within the UK.  Prices have not, and potentially never will return to what they once were, but the market is now much more realistic and competitive.  The sales volume of flats is said by ASPC to have decreased by 7.4% - should this continue into the next quarter with mortgage rates still low – the Spring/Summer of 2018 may prove to be an excellent time to buy.

Provided sellers are realistic then properties will generally sell.  With support from advisers on pricing and presentation, most houses will attract early interest and viewings.  The majority of buyers will generally still not have the confidence to commit to a purchase without concluding a sale for their existing property – which generally means that the missive period is far lengthier than several years back – but the difference in 2018, at least in our experience, is that there are far more genuine buyers around and people ready to make a move finally after “a lull” of three or four years.

Hopefully this trend will continue throughout 2018 as confidence and secure employment both return to the North East of Scotland.  Time will tell.

Pat Gray, Property Partner

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