We are delighted to welcome Audrey Lafferty to our Residential Property team in Dundee who joins as a Property Manager.
Audrey has assisted clients across Scotland for over 30 years gaining vast experience in the purchase, letting and sale of residential property. Most recently, in a self-employed capacity, she identified properties for clients looking to develop a letting portfolio, provided guidance to first-time investors, and helped clients find the right property to suit their needs.
The Dundee market is flourishing, with strong demand for all types of residential property. Its vital that sellers seek guidance from property experts who know the market when considering selling their home.
Speaking of her recent appointment, Audrey said: Dundee has a thriving market and I look forward to working with the team to ensure all our clients receive the highest quality service.
Maurice Allan, Managing Director of Residential Property, commented: Audrey is a welcome addition to our growing Estate Agency team and her recruitment reflects the increased property activity across the region. Her experience and local knowledge will be invaluable to our clients.
Dundees housing market has been active throughout 2017. With demand still outstripping supply, its a good market for sellers. Because of this, were seeing more sellers setting closing dates a trend thats also apparent in strong markets such as Edinburgh.
The market is very active in the usual hotspots of the West End and Broughty Ferry, but also in more affordable areas such as St Marys, Douglas, Downfield and Brackens.
Over the past 12 months, average prices in Dundee have risen 2.4%, according to the latest available Registers of Scotland (RoS) figures, published in July 2017. So it seems that events in the wider world from Brexit to Junes general election are not denting prices or confidence.
Our own experience is that buyers and sellers in Dundee, and beyond, have a just get on with life mentality. Since the 2008 credit crunch, the market is used to operating in an unpredictable political and economic landscape, so Brexit and the UK election just come as more of the same.
This is reassuring for both sellers and buyers. It is also encouraging to see that interest rates are predicted to remain low as this will help to keep the marketplace in Dundee and surrounding areas active as we move into autumn.
If youre thinking of selling this autumn, professional advice and market knowledge will help you achieve a good price and good sale conditions, and make the most of the demand for property in Dundee.
The Edinburgh housing market in 2017 has been characterised by a lack of stock. The number of homes brought to market in April-June is down almost 6% on the same period last year, according to a recent ESPC report.
This is positive news for sellers, creating a market where prices exceed expectations. ESPC figures show that east central Scotland properties marketed as Offers Over achieved an average of almost 10% over the asking price during April- June higher than a year ago.
The figures also show average selling prices in east central Scotland up more than 5% compared with 12 months previously.
The shortages of stock and competitive market have enabled Edinburgh to buck the wider UK trend on residential property prices.
According to Zoopla, most UK cities have seen a lack of house price growth compared with June 2016. Only a handful of cities have resisted the trend, and Edinburgh has done so convincingly Zooplas figures show house price growth here has bounced from 1.8% a year ago to 6.5% today.
As we look forward to the autumn market, we predict more of the same. With a large number of active buyers prepared to pay a premium for the right property, we anticipate that the current sellers market will continue in the short to medium term.
This means now is an ideal time for potential sellers to prepare for a sale.
The residential property market in Dundee and Tayside continues to benefit from the regeneration effect. Demand is buoyant across the region, and there is steady price growth in all areas. The market appears unaffected by Brexit and other political uncertainties.
The healthy property market in Tayside has led to fewer properties being offered at a fixed price, and more offers over sales. In some cases, sales are either being agreed quickly or are being sold following a closing date.
Another change from the past few years, is we are seeing a few offers subject to sale being agreed. These are most likely to be accepted when the prospective purchaser is selling a property in a much sought-after location.
Demand continues to outstrip supply in the usual hotspots around Tayside: the West End, Broughty Ferry, Monifieth, and Carnoustie. The turnaround time from when a property is placed on the market for sale until it has been marked as sold has reduced.
Other properties proving popular are former local authority properties, which offer excellent and affordable family accommodation. Several properties of this type have recently attracted numerous notes of interest, and have achieved well in excess of the Home Report valuation at closing dates.
In addition, the change to Land & Building Transaction Tax (LBTT) rates is supporting sub-£400,000 sales as the tax rates payable by the purchaser have been reduced. Looking forward to the next few months, we expect robust demand to persist around Tayside. Regeneration in the area and low interest rates should support all categories of the market, as should the affordability of Dundee compared to cities such as Edinburgh, Stirling and Perth.
Robust demand for property in Edinburgh and East Central Scotland shows no sign of abating.
Homeowners in Edinburgh and the Lothians are seeing strong prices and quick sales as the sellers market continues. Brexit and talk of another independence referendum dont appear to be dampening the residential property market.
Sales volumes are around 10% down on this time last year, but the drop is not due to low demand. Far from it. Rather, its due to less properties coming onto the market and as a result, demand is outstripping supply.
For those with a property to sell, the trend has been beneficial: in the first quarter, average prices across East Central Scotland were up by almost 6% to £217,455. The median selling time fell from 41 days in the first quarter of 2016 to 29 days a year later.
The sellers market is especially evident in Edinburghs city centre, and looks set to persist. Hotspots include Merchiston, Morningside, the Grange, the New Town and Stockbridge, where desirable properties are likely to receive multiple notes of interest and competitive offers well above the Home Report valuation.
Median selling time in Edinburgh was just 24 days in the first quarter, and closing dates remain popular as a means to drive up the sale price.
This is good news for sellers, less so for buyers. However, given that much of the demand is focused on three-bedroom houses and second homes, the prospects for first-time buyers have slightly improved.
At all levels of the market, good advice about buying tactics can help buyers navigate the competitive marketplace.
Source for figures: ESPC
Since April 2017 all registered builders or developers of new or newly converted homes for sale to the public are required to comply with the updated Consumer Code for Home Builders (the Code).
The Code, which was first introduced in 2010, was developed to improve consumer satisfaction in the homebuilding industry and give the purchaser more consumer protection. It aims to ensure that all buyers are treated fairly, know what service levels to expect, are given reliable information upon which to make their decisions and are provided with a quick, low cost dispute resolution scheme to deal with complaints.
The Code applies to reservations of new or newly converted homes on or after 1 April 2017 and to homebuilders and agents who are registered with a Home Warranty Body that is an organisation maintaining a register of builders, providing home warranty cover and supporting the Code, the largest of which is NHBC.
What do I need to know about ensuring compliance with the Code?
Three different stages of the home buying process are affected by the Code - pre-purchase, exchange of contracts and after sales. And nineteen mandatory Requirements must be followed to ensure compliance.
New definitions of customer and home buyer - a customer is a person who makes enquiries about buying a home but who has not reserved a home, whereas the latter has reserved or goes on to buy a home.
Raising awareness of the Code the scheme logo must be prominently displayed in the homebuilders and agents sales offices and in sales brochures. Previously a copy of the Code had only to be provided to customers who asked for it, now all home buyers must be given a copy of the Code and Code scheme documents with the reservation agreement.
Restrictions on choice of advisor removed homebuilders may offer incentives and/or refer home buyers to a panel of solicitors but they can no longer restrict their choice of legal representative, financial advisor or mortgage intermediary.
Opportunity to investigate and rectify issues - before a complaint can be made under the dispute resolution scheme the home buyer must give the homebuilder an opportunity to investigate and rectify the problem. The timescales within which a home buyer can raise a complaint have been changed. A complaint under the dispute resolution scheme cannot be brought before 56 calendar days have passed since it was first raised with the homebuilder and no later than 12 months after the homebuilders final response. The maximum award for inconvenience which can be made by an adjudicator under the dispute resolution scheme has been increased from £250 to £500. This only applies where there has been a breach of the Code and will not be awarded for emotional upset and stress as awards will be judged as a matter of fact.
Excluded properties - the Code does not apply to second hand properties, properties acquired by registered social landlords for rent, or investors or individuals who buy more than one property on the same development for investment purposes.
There will be a three month implementation period until 30 June 2017 to allow homebuilders and agents time to comply with the Code and its Requirements. If a homebuilder is found to be in breach of the Code, Home Warranty Bodies can apply a range of sanctions.
If you require further information in relation to the Code please see contact details here.
If you are having problems getting onto the property ladder it may be that the Scottish governments Golden Share scheme could help.
The Golden Share scheme is one of a range of affordable housing schemes designed to help first time buyers who wish to own their own home but who cannot afford to pay the full price for a house.
It is part of the shared equity type scheme which means that the Scottish government or local authority keeps a financial stake in the property so you do not have to fund it all. You will pay for the majority share in the property and the Scottish government/local authority will hold the remaining share under a Minute of Agreement which they will enter into with you.
The sales process is similar to a standard house sale but the property price is capped at 80% of open market value for all future re-sales. A purchaser must show that he/she is eligible in order to qualify for the scheme and it must be his or her sole and primary residence.
We have acted in a number of these specialised purchases and would be delighted to answer any queries you may have.
New Homes Week is taking place this week and aims to explore the reasons why buying a new build may be the right choice for you.
If you have you ever dreamt of a home where you dont have to cover up someone elses paint or wallpaper experiment and which meets the latest building specification then a new-build property could well be your dream come true. Especially given the rich choice of new-build homes of all sizes in and around Edinburgh and the Central belt as well as in Dundee and beyond.
Other attractions of buying new-build property include a 10-year warranty from the likes of National House Building Council (NHBC) covering structural defects.
You may also be able to benefit from incentives such as part-exchange, or help with legal fees and/or LBTT.
If you do fancy buying a new-build property, you should familiarize yourself with the cons as well as the pros:
- Understand the new-build timetable you may only have 28 days between paying a reservation fee and exchanging contracts.
- Be flexible over your entry date. If there are construction delays, you may need alternative accommodation until your new home is ready.
- Get a snagging survey to check for defects in the completed property and have them remedied.
- Bear in mind that new-build properties may have less space than period properties.
The most passionate advocates of new-build vs period property are never going to agree about which is best, but for most of us, there are excellent benefits for both.
The main thing is to be open to the property whether new or old that fits your budget, timing, location and space requirements. With so much development activity taking off around Scotland, a new-build home could well tick every box.
We are really pleased to be supporting the ESPC with their recently-launched first time buyers competition which is aimed at helping first time purchasers get onto the property ladder. Saving for a deposit can be a lengthy process and quite a daunting challenge, so when the ESPC told us about the competition, which will see one winner receive £5,000 to put towards a deposit for their first home, and other winners receive a variety of property related prizes, we were keen to be involved.
Our prize is free conveyancing advice and the lucky winner of that prize will be drawn on Thursday 16th March. As an ESPC member firm we were thrilled to be involved in supporting the competition and will be one of the firms providing conveyancing advice to a lucky winner.
Interested in entering the competition?
All you need to do to enter the competition is fill out the ESPCs online registration form. For extra recognition post a video of what your first home means to you and share with the hashtag #win5k on the ESPC Facebook page.
Throughout the campaign you will also be in with a chance of winning five spot prizes, which include free mortgage and legal advice as well as other local prizes. The overall winner will be drawn on 30th June 2017.
Terms and conditions can be found here. Good luck!
Derek Petrie, Partner in our Dundee office was recently featured in the Evening Telegraph (2 February 2017) commenting on the increasing interest in the Dundee property market. The article is summarised here:
Companies have been attracted by the promise of the V&A and its surroundings while taking advantage of cheaper land values in Dundee.
"I think the Aberdeen property market and the economy up there has slowed down at the moment. We are now seeing a wide range of developments come to fruition in Dundee, from affordable housing to top-end houses and apartments.
"We are also seeing growing outside interest in development and building in Dundee, For example, construction businesses that have traditionally focused on the West Coast or Aberdeen are turning their attention to the City of Discovery.
"With the publicity around the V&A I think Dundee is proving attractive and the land values are fairly low compared to Aberdeen and Edinburgh. You can see that just from looking at the council planning applications and the new developments all over the city.
"One example is CCG Scotland Ltd which is building its first-ever development in the east of Scotland on Glamis Road near Balgay Cemetery. Another good example of the city-wide character of new-build in Dundee is the Whitfield district.
"DJ Laing Homes has now received planning permission to build the first 24 homes at Aberlady Crescent in a proposed development of 96 houses, and Strathmore Homes (Scotland) Limited has just completed 10 new houses at Strathmore Avenue.
"And Invertay Homes is also building at Whitfield Loan and other developments locally include Summerfield Park, Foggyley Gardens and Pitkerro Road."