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Housing market growth may be slowing, SPC survey reports

27 June 2014

Scottish solicitor estate agents predict further growth in the residential property market over the next year, but possibly at a slower pace than recently, according to the latest survey from SPC Scotland.

An online survey during the first three weeks of June by the umbrella body for solicitors property centres in Scotland attracted over 100 responses from member firms. They continue to report robust activity in the residential property market, with buyer activity well ahead of the same time last year and expectations that sales and prices will continue to rise in the next 12 months.

However there could also be early signs that the speed of the recovery in the market may be slowing. The number who believed that first time buyer activity was higher now than at this time last year, dipped from over 70% in the previous quarter to over 60% in the most recent three months. Price expectations have also moderated slightly, with two thirds of solicitors forecasting price rises over the next 12 months compared to three quarters in the previous survey.

Nevertheless, they are reporting an increase in instructions and over two thirds expect the number of homes coming on to the market to rise further in the next 12 months.

Although the number of active first time buyers has risen, it is the market for family homes that continues to be strongest. Over 70% of solicitor estate agents said that mid-market family homes were attracting the highest demand, with 27% stating that smaller, one and two bed properties were proving most popular.

Commenting on the results Mark Hordern, Chairman of SPC Scotland said:

“Predictions of rising sales, instructions and prices in the coming year all reflect growing confidence among solicitor estate agents in the Scottish property market. It is also encouraging to see a significant majority of solicitors reporting that first time buyer activity is on the rise.

“We’re also now starting to see an improvement in the number of homes coming onto the market and this is almost certainly the principal reason for some moderation in expectations of future house price growth. This is certainly encouraging news for the long term health of the market and should help ease any fears that the Scottish market is set to see the high levels of house price inflation that have been seen recently in areas like London and the South East.”

Note to Editors

The survey, which will be carried out quarterly, was conducted online and ran from the 2nd to 23rd June, attracting over 100 responses. Responses were drawn from solicitor estate agent members firms across Scotland.

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