So, summer 2023 is over, at least meteorologically speaking. Did you miss it? Three weeks in mid to late June I recall!! As the seasons change what can buyers and sellers expect from the market? Boom or bust? Feast or famine?
The truth is neither. The UK and Scottish property markets both currently sit at a crossroads. Engines on, idling, ticking over – call it what you will. The latest statistics from The Registers of Scotland show the average price of a property has increased by a little under 2% per cent so far this year. The average house price in Dunfermline hovers around the £200,000 mark but this year we have seen greater activity in the two-bed flatted market than in larger homes hence why in August our average sale price was £188,149.
Fourteen months of consecutive hikes in interest rates with possibly one more to come have had the desired effect from the point of view of the Bank of England and the Government. Inflation is falling steadily from its forty-year high and at the same time we have avoided a recession. Higher base rates of course mean higher mortgage rates and with these we have seen a drop in the number of purchases and sales as supply and demand have come closer into sync. The good news is that two and five year fixed rate mortgages, the most popular types of mortgage, have actually seen interest rates drop, a strong indication that the money markets see the medium term direction of travel being downward for rates. As a result, there are reasonable grounds to be quietly confident that the coming months will see a modest uptick in activity with prices remaining broadly where they are. We foresee no crash being a headline some of the sensationalist media outlets continue to pedal.
The late summer and early autumn months are a particularly popular time for house hunters as it affords sufficient time to find, buy and to move into a new home before Christmas. Property Director Keiran Newman says the reasons are quite straight forward.
“With the school and summer holidays over, attention turns back to home life. It’s the start of the new academic year for schools, colleges and universities and it always marks the start to a busy period for us. As well as there being a degree of empty nest syndrome, homeowners tend to re-focus on perennial issues such as a place to live which is convenient for work be that office, home or hybrid, has good commuting etc. If the kids have now moved on to high school 5 -10 miles away in Dunfermline the village school in say Saline, Oakley, Kelty or Carnock is no longer the advantage it was. The prospect of being a taxi service for after school activities may be inconvenient and costly and moving closer to the new school may be the answer. The flip side of this coin is of course that younger families with kids just about to start primary school may see the idea of smaller village schools and village life as preferable.”
Senior Partner Michael Maloco adds – “At this point there’s still plenty time for house hunters to find a place and to settle in before winter sets in and Christmas rolls around. It’s still light in the evenings until about 8’ish for another few weeks allowing would be buyers to view after work and to see the property in daylight.”
With high employment rates and reasonable mortgage deals, falling inflation and a feeling that the most challenging of times are economically speaking behind us plus a relative drought of new properties coming to the market it’s a good time to be selling if that is on your agenda. Yes, the days of achieving 10% ++ over your asking price are a thing of the past at least for now, but that of course means you will almost certainly pay less for your next home than would have been the case a year ago.
If you’re thinking of selling why not give us a call to arrange a FREE pre-sale valuation of your home, or if you prefer, click on our instant online valuation tool and request a time that best suits you for us to come out to visit.