Scottish housing market opens up again!

Our note of 27 April said that in most case residential conveyancing was paused. Although there have been a few purchases and sales since then, those were the exception rather than the rule.

As we discussed then, the two things mainly holding back the house markets were the inability of estate agents to show houses and removal companies not being able to carry out their job due to lockdown restrictions.

A number of mortgage products were also withdrawn from the market but while it probably impacted individuals it had less of a wider effect on the market.

We’re pleased to report that there is now light at the end of the tunnel.
From 29 June “all home moves are permitted, provided they can be carried out safely”. Other activities, both personal and business, around house moves will also be allowed.

You will find the updated Scottish Government information on moving home here.

This is good news for everyone wanting to buy or sell their home. Show homes for new houses will also be able to open, subject to complying with public health guidelines.

However, it is not yet clear how the period of lockdown and lack of market activity will have affected the number of houses coming on to the market for sale, at what price, the number of potential purchasers, the types of properties for which there will be demand (or being sold) or if mortgages will be available for everyone who might have reasonably expected to obtain a mortgage in, say, February.

How will prices react? While some feel that there will be a fall in prices, demand and limited supply could keep prices up. Articles regarding this aspect in the national press variously indicate price falls, no change or price rises – depending on area. There have been some purchasers trying to reduce prices over this period but these have been matched by sellers refusing to agree.

And, anecdotally at least, there seems to be a trend for people, including many who wouldn’t have been intending to move, looking to move out of flats and into houses with gardens. If true, then again demand and supply forces may operate to increase prices.

Time will tell.

The first stage is to get things moving again and that is what this guidance does

Posted by Robbie Wishart

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