Property trends in Scotland: how has the market fared?

Property trends in Scotland: how has the market fared?

Richard Hepburn

Richard Hepburn, MD, Millar & Bryce, takes a look at the latest residential property data.

The property market has clearly ebbed and flowed throughout 2020 and 2021; there was a low when the property market was forced to temporarily close amid Covid lockdowns before the highs emerged following the reopening, buoyed by the Scottish government’s LBTT taxation initiative. This concluded in March 2021, and since then the last two quarters of this year have shown a degree of greater stability.

In fact, a new Property Trends Report for Scotland from Landmark Information Group demonstrates these findings with real data. It charts the residential property market conditions across Scotland, with the first edition looking back over the last 12-months, from October 2020 to September 2021.

The first edition reports some very interesting trends, one that stands out immediately is the slow-down in new property listings coming onto the market. On average down by 8% between January-September 2021, when compared to the same period in 2019, before Covid arrived and disrupted ‘normal’ seasonal trends.

Sold subject to missives, completions and registered sales have been riding quite a wave of activity, with completions up during the last quarter of 2020, before falling in February, July and August, and then peaking once again in September. Registers of Scotland also reported 92 per cent more registered sales in March 2021 as the LBTT incentive drew to a close, compared to 2019 data, although some of this increase is a technical spike in activity due to emergency Covid regulations which disrupted the normal registration process.

The data is showing that the last few months have however started to return to a more ‘normal’ level, which may prove easier for the market to process. The pre-Christmas period is usually one that remains steady as buyers use Christmas as a moving-in deadline, however with supply tightening, it will be interesting to see what knock-on effect this has throughout the industry.

Whatever happens, I know the industry will handle it with complete stoicism. As the recent 18-months have shown, if we can navigate the choppy waters created by the pandemic, we can work our way through most things!

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