What next for the north east residential property market?

The “reasonably consistent” increases in the number of properties changing hands is of some significance.

That’s according to John MacRae, chairman of the ASPC board of directors, commenting on the latest statistics published for the Aberdeen housing market.

The ASPC and University of Aberdeen report shows the number of transactions taking place in the third quarter rose by 9.6% compared with the previous three months. Breaking it down into housetypes, flat sales increased by 5.5%; semi-detached houses by 14.1% and detached houses by 8.2%.

That said, the figures also showed a downturn in house prices in the area, after a modest upturn for the previous quarter.

The big picture

But let’s set this in context.

Housing markets rely on confidence, and with the current political and economic uncertainty likely affecting that confidence, it’s perhaps not surprising values have taken something of a step back. Plus, housing markets UK-wide are depressed.

And, of course, there’s plenty we can feel more positive about when it comes to the mood across the area. Not least of which, Aberdeen has just been named the best place to live and work in Scotland.

The Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities Index 2019 covered just over 40 places in the UK, measuring their economic performance against a number of variables including jobs, skills, income health and infrastructure. Out of the three Scottish cities included, only two made the top ten. Aberdeen rose from ninth in 2018 to sixth; Edinburgh stayed put at seventh.

In particular, Scottish cities performed well when it came to skills, income and jobs.

How does this translate for our firm?

We’ve said before we know the north east hasn’t had its troubles to seek over the past few years, in particular, the oil industry downturn significantly affected the residential property market.

The good news is things seem to be improving, and the area’s showing signs of a revival in terms of activity and investment.

We’re seeing a rise in activity and demand, in particular, from buyers with a keen eye for good value: it seems, for example, families will consider moving to areas in a much wider geographical area than before, especially when there’s an easier commute — thanks to the new city bypass — to commercial hubs such as Dyce, Westhill and Altens.

Recently, we saw a detached property in Bieldside achieve its home report valuation in under two weeks; and in the mid-market, our client received an offer — which they accepted — on their Bridge of Don semi within just two days of marketing.

Encouragingly too, we’re seeing more closing dates: recently a closing date for a large, detached rural property attracted four offers, the highest being £25,000 over asking price.

In housebuilding too, there’s plenty of activity — including busy developments in Countesswells, Inverurie, Cults and Bucksburn — all representing investment and a degree of confidence in the area.

From our own business, we’re focused on sustainable growth. At the start of this month, all 12 Simpson & Marwick Aberdeen staff, including Lynne Stewart — who has since been promoted to partner — and well-known property expert David Geddie transferred to our firm: creating one of the city’s largest estate agencies in terms of the number and value of properties sold.

So while the latest statistics are something of a mixed bag, it seems there’s plenty we can be optimistic about when it comes to the property market in the north east of Scotland, and the region’s fortunes as a whole.

Mike Cunningham

Mike is an expert on all aspects of residential property and has more than 20 years’ experience at partner level in Aberdeen.

Posted, 15 November 2019 by Mike Cunningham
Categories: Insights | Private client | Residential property