Q1 Update 2017
Spring is finally here! As we moved out of the winter months and into Spring, the market has continued to improve, giving us a very optimistic outlook for 2017.
All our key performance indicators have shown that the first quarter of 2017 has been the busiest since 2007. The number of viewings booked in and properties sold have been significantly higher than at any point in the last 10 years, and we have also had several closing dates on sales in recent weeks. The only downside noted is that there have simply not been enough properties coming onto the market to meet demand! This is particularly the case in what we would deem the mid-market price range which is from £100k - £250k. There has been a real shortage of quality properties coming onto the market in this price range, yet it is the section of the market where we have the most buyers registered and waiting for something to come up.
As we came out of the winter months towards the end of the quarter, there was a 26% increase in the number of hits our website had between February and March. Our website hits were; 13,050 in January, 11,514 in February and 14,486 in March. With the clocks changing, the weather improving and the lighter nights we have witnessed a sharp upturn in the number of viewings booked, a total of 117 in March. We have recently been selling more properties than we have been taking on, which has led to many properties being sold in a week or less and several closing dates. Also, properties which had been on the market for several months have all started to sell which is positive news for sellers, especially in lower price ranges where there had been a glut of flats on the market which were struggling to sell.
The rental market has continued to be steady with the supply and demand levelling out. Some landlords have decided to sell their properties due to recent changes in the tax laws. This has lowered the number of available properties however this has coincided with several of our tenants handing in their notice in recent months now looking to buy instead of rent. There has still be enough quality rental property becoming available to meet demand. The only section of the market where there is simply not enough supply is the upper price bracket and for three and four bedroom properties as we always have families waiting for them to come up.
It is widely expected that interest rates are going to have to rise soon to combat inflation, so buyers looking to get themselves a low interest rate on a mortgage should be thinking about buying in the very near future.
The market is now entering the busiest time of the year; the Spring and early summer months are without doubt the best time to buy and sell property. Now that the clocks have changed and it is light until after 8pm, combined with the warmer weather and a lot more sunshine, properties start to look a lot better externally and gardens are more attractive. Many people hold off until this time of year to rent, buy and sell so we are optimistic that the market will be even busier in the 2nd quarter of 2017. Year after year, the months of April through to June are our busiest, especially for selling.
Whether you are thinking of selling or renting in 2017, feel free to get in touch with us to arrange your free market appraisal. Also if you are simply looking for advice on the local property market, why not stop in for a chat or register as an applicant on our website to be sent matching properties?
Q4 Update 2016
First of all, we’d like to wish all our clients (past, present & future) a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
As 2016 draws to a close, the good news for the local property markets in which we operate is that the year has been the busiest since the recession of 2008. All our key performance indicators confirm that more properties are selling and in shorter timescales as more buyers are returning to the market and mortgage availability is the best it has been in many years.
Our website had 14,281 hits in October and 10,896 hits in November. Thus far it has had 4,551 hits in December at the time of writing (23rd of the month). The market, as expected, tailed off the closer it got to Christmas however there were a lot of sales of existing properties and once again we have almost sold out of properties to sell! At the time of writing 24 of the properties we are currently selling are under offer having received offers in October and November which is very positive and hopefully a sign of things to come in the New Year.
The number of available properties in local markets has continued to decline as properties have been selling quickly and there hasn’t been enough supply coming back onto the market at this time of year to replace those that have sold. This has resulted in shorter selling times as well as several closing dates over the last few months as many buyers have been chasing the same properties. This is good news for property values in the area. We have recently had a few sales in excess of home report valuation as well in certain price ranges which is a strong indication that values are set to start increasing in those sections of the market. The most buoyant section of local markets has been what we would class as the ‘mid-section’ which is properties valued from £100,000 - £250,000.
A recent report by the council of mortgage lenders reported an increase in the number of property transactions going through between 2014-15 and again another increase from 2015-16 which is positive news in the year in which we have heard much ‘doom & gloom’ about the economy from media outlets and the various political changes we have seen over the last 12 months. For the property market, we have very much seen a ‘business as usual’ approach and a strong 2nd half to 2016 which bodes well for 2017.
There has been a slight change in the rental market in the final quarter of 2016 as a number of our long-term tenants have decided to hand in their notice and buy, most likely to take advantage of the low interest rates on mortgage before interest rates start to increase in the near future. This has resulted in a slight increase in available rental properties which means that the best quality rental accommodation is being picked off first by tenants who now have more choice. We believe this is a good thing as it encourages landlords to ensure their properties are in good condition and well-presented if they want to attract and retain good tenants. The right properties in the right areas will continue to attract good quality tenants regardless.
Looking forward into the New Year and what 2017 has to bring; our expectation would be for the market to be strong in the first quarter from January through to March as new properties are put up for sale and many people choose 2017 to be the year that they move house. There has been a large number of people who have ‘sat tight’ during the recession years of 2008-2014 waiting for the market to pick up again and the value of their own property to recover. Now that they have seen the market gradually improving throughout 2015 and 2016, they are now thinking about moving again. We witnessed that in months like October and November this year which traditionally would have been quiet actually ended up being much busier than expected and observant homeowners take note of such things.
Whether you are thinking of selling or renting in 2017, please feel free to get in touch with us to arrange your free market appraisal. Also if you are simply looking for advice on the local property market, why not stop in for a chat.
Q3 Update 2016
This report is for you and your property! Read on to find out more info about your biggest asset:
It’s that time of the year already where we publish our quarterly update to provide information on how the local property markets are performing in the main areas we cover. The months of July, August and September have been a bit of a mixed bag statistically however the good news overall is that the 3rd quarter of 2016 has been an improvement on the same period in 2015 as far as the key statistics are concerned.
Firstly, looking at interest levels on our own website, it had 12,704 hits in July, 12,064 hits in August and 10,797 hits in September. These are all well above average and show that interest levels in properties online remains high and on a par with the traditionally busy Spring and early Summer months.
Of the 3 months in quarter 3, July as we would expect was the quietest in terms of actual sales. This is normal for what is considered the main ‘holiday month’ of the year with the schools being off and a high proportion of people being on holiday. August was a bit slow in starting however once the schools went back then the market has gradually started to return to normal levels, a theme continued into September. The aforementioned observations are backed up by the number of viewings we booked in across our properties: 54 in July, 92 in August and 78 in September.
The good news and the main thing that you’ll want to know is that properties have been selling and also selling quicker than at any point over the last 8 years since the recession in 2008. We have had several closing dates in quarter 3 and recently sold 2 properties well above their home report valuations. Granted they were desirable properties that don’t come onto the market very often hence the high levels of interest however we haven’t witnessed many closing dates over the last few years due to the downturn in the market so there are indications that the level of demand is starting to catch up with the level of supply.
The property market, as always, is largely dictated in local markets by supply and demand. Where in recent years there has been a lot of supply and not enough demand, values have dropped and average selling times have been long. Most sellers have had to discount their price to achieve a sale. There have been early indications in 2016 that buyer demand has increased in some sections of the market. An example of this would be in Kilsyth where during Quarter 3 we have witnessed the number of available properties in the area drop from 110 down to 78 as of today. As there is less supply and available properties on the market, this does mean buyers have less choice so properties are more likely to sell and also more likely to sell more quickly. It is the first time in several years in Kilsyth we have witnessed the number of available properties dip below the 100 level.
Similarly, the number of available properties in Cumbernauld has dipped below 200 down to 192 and the number of available properties in Bonnybridge has dropped down to only 16 properties, the lowest it has been in several years! These are only some of the areas we deal in, however it gives a snapshot of how things have changed in the market in 2016 compared to previous years.
The rental market is as busy as ever and at present we are almost at 100% occupancy on the properties we manage. The demand for rental property in the areas we deal in remains high and it is worth remembering that nationally there is still a major shortage of property and not enough new building going on. Whilst there is a shortage yet a rising population, demand will always be high. More and more we are seeing people becoming first time landlords as they recognise the importance of having property investment form part of their long term income for retirement given the volatile nature of the stock market and the future risks associated with both private and state pensions.
We are still busy taking properties onto the market (another 8 sales and 5 rental properties in September) and expect the months of October and November to be busy before the traditional slow-down in December for Christmas and New Year.
Whether you are thinking of selling or renting, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us to arrange your free market appraisal and allow us to give you information that will help you to decide and plan your next move.
Quarter 2 Update 2016
As a firm, we believe in having an open and transparent approach to the way we do business. As a result, we regularly provide marketing reports to let people know how the property market is performing across Central Scotland. Our clients receive regular marketing updates via email (or post if preferred) however we feel it is important to provide a quarterly update to those who may be thinking of buying, selling or renting in the future. The second quarter of 2016 has certainly been an interesting one with all sorts of changes in legislation, taxes and the political system so we have tried to include as much information for you as possible to help you digest all the recent changes.
There are a number of performance indicators that we monitor to gauge local markets and one of these is our own website. It had 15,226 hits in May, 16,455 in April and thus far there has been 11,726 in June (up until the 28th). When we look back to months like December when there were 3,142 hits you can see there has been a significant increase in traffic during the Spring and Summer months.
The other indicators we normally look at are the number of viewings booked as well as the number of properties sold. Both of these have been the highest we have seen since the recession of 2008. Again this is very positive and a sign that the market is continuing to improve and move in the right direction.
The only negative that we have experienced is that the number of investors looking to buy has dropped significantly which has affected the lower price ranges somewhat. We can attribute that to the new 3% LBTT (formerly stamp duty) which came in for ‘second homes’ on 1st April, as well as the new way of taxing rental income on the gross amount rather than the net. This ‘double whammy’ for investors has caused many to be more cautious and some to stop investing completely. Our outlook for property as an investment long term is still very positive but we do believe that the changes in tax will cause many smaller and more casual investors to be more reluctant to invest. Our larger investors are still buying and looking at more tax efficient ways to hold property e.g. in a LTD company rather than as private individuals.
There has obviously been a big change on the political landscape as well in the wake of the Brexit vote and the UK leaving the European Union, so we feel it is important to comment on that and how it will affect the property market. Initial indications are that the market across Central Scotland for the most part will be unaffected by the change in the shorter term. The result of the vote was announced on the morning of Friday 24th June and by the Monday we already had an offer in on a property, for the full fixed price and also had several viewings of properties booked in, with another 3 properties to list onto the market. All of this happened within 3 days of the vote so we are not seeing any negative impact in the local property market.
The medium to long term effect will only be known in the fullness of time however it would be our view that the UK has always had a strong property market and ultimately the buoyancy of the property market is primarily dictated by supply and demand. The UK still has a national housing shortage and people always need somewhere to live. Even at times when the sales market slows we find that the rental market picks up to compensate so we remain optimistic about the property market in the areas we deal in. If there is one thing that the whole Brexit issue has confirmed it is that the mainstream media are very much out of touch with what is actually happening ‘on the ground’ so if people can ignore the fear and scaremongering being peddled in the months ahead we see no reason for people to start panicking about the economy or the property market.
In the months ahead, we expect July to be a bit of a mixed month because of the ‘summer holiday’ season and the schools break up resulting in many people going away on holiday and being busy with childcare arrangements, etc. The market then picks back up again quite strongly in August and September which are usually very busy months for us. If you are thinking of selling or letting, we invite you to have a good look through our website at the services we offer and also how we market our properties. If you are looking to buy or rent a property then please do get in touch via phone, email or registering on our website and we can add you to our electronic database which will automatically update you when new properties come onto the market in your area and price range.
Quarter 1 Update 2016
As regular followers of our website and social media sites will know, we always keep our followers updated with what is happening with the local property market. For those who have their properties currently marketed with us, they always receive regular marketing updates however we also create quarterly marketing summaries to give you as much information as we can. This will hopefully help you to make an informed choice, whether buying, selling or renting.
Our website had 19,146 hits in March which is a huge increase on the 11,482 hits in February and the 10,712 it had in January. By looking back through the various months of the year we can see our website had its lowest number of hits in December (3,142) and shows just how sharply interest has increased in property since the turn of the year, especially now we are in the Spring. It is without doubt the best time of the year to be marketing your property. Year on year our busiest months are March, April, May & June.
The number of viewings we have been booking have increased on a month by month basis from January through to March and we expect that trend to continue in the months ahead. Sales figures were especially high in February and March as many investors looked to get this year’s purchases in before the new Land & Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT, formerly stamp duty) on ‘second homes’ which now results in a 3% levy for buyers. The deadline for getting deals through was 31st March so we saw a surge in market activity in the weeks leading up to the cut-off date.
One thing that has become quite clear in the first quarter of 2016 is that some sections of the market are moving really well whereas others are a bit slower. Although overall market conditions are improving and properties are selling more quickly, that doesn’t tell the whole story. It depends on what sort of property you are selling as well as its location and the price range it is in. The most difficult section of the market to sell at present seems to be at the lower end of the price brackets.
Most sections of the market are currently doing quite well but we are still finding there are not enough first time buyers and buyers in the lower price range (properties under £80,000). This is partly due to a lot of supply (there are currently 30 properties for sale in Kilsyth and 87 in Cumbernauld priced under £80,000) and also due to demand for these types of properties being quite low. This is due to a lack of first time buyers and also because most investors in these price ranges have already made their purchases. It is still possible to sell properties in the lower price ranges however you need to make sure your property stands out either by being in excellent walk-in condition or by being several thousand pounds cheaper than the competition.
Now that the Spring market is well and truly underway and the clocks have changed, we expect things to keep getting busier over the next 3 months. Our busiest period of the year is always from March through to June then the market does dip slightly during the summer holidays with so many people being away on holiday or dealing with childcare due to lengthy school holidays.
Looking forward into April, we currently have the 2 weeks of the school holidays which can cause some interruptions to normal market conditions just depending on holidays and other commitments that people have with the children (or grandchildren) being off school for a fortnight. The 2nd half of the month should be very busy and as the weather (in theory) keeps getting better/warmer and we hopefully see more sunshine which always seems to produce more buyers and more market activity.
Our outlook for the next few months is that we expect April through to June to be our busiest time of the year as it always seems to be, with more buyers entering the market and properties selling better than at any other time of year. If you are thinking of selling or letting, we invite you to have a good look through our website at the services we offer and also how we market our properties. If you are looking to buy or rent a property then please do get in touch via phone, email or registering on our website and we can add you to our electronic database which will automatically update you when new properties come onto the market in your area and price range.
Quarter 4 Update 2015
As always, we like to keep our clients (and potential future clients) updated with what is happening with the local property markets in the areas in which we operate. For those who have their properties currently marketed with us, they always receive regular marketing updates however bi-monthly we are posting marketing summaries on our website to give people as much information on local property as we can. This will hopefully help you to make an informed choice, whether buying, selling or renting.
Our website had 5,327 hits in November compared to 11,765 in October which gives an idea of how many people have been looking at property. Interest levels in property tends to be seasonal and there are clear patterns of when the market is busy and when it is quieter. In December things dipped again due to the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Our website had the most hits in 2015 during the month of March when it had 16,425 in one month. We do normally expect the market to be quieter through the festive period, simply because people’s attention is on Christmas and New Year. As it is now dark at 4pm and most people who decided to move in 2015 have already done so, we are finding that the number of viewings being booked has dipped in recent weeks but perhaps not as low as we would have expected. We still booked in a total of 86 viewings in November and 106 in October which are positive numbers.
Buyers are still being presented with a lot of choice in local markets. These are the current stock levels of properties for sale in some of the areas we operate in: Kilsyth – 110 / Cumbernauld – 216 / Bonnybridge & Denny (combined) – 78 / Kirkintilloch - 94
For this reason it still remains a buyer’s market in most areas. This means that most sellers are having to go a bit lower on their prices in order to achieve a sale, and very few properties are selling up at the home report valuation level.
The rental market is very strong in all the areas in which we operate at present. Most properties we advertise for rent are being taken very quickly and we are getting enquiries daily from potential tenants looking for suitable rental properties. This is good news for landlords who can buy with confidence that as long as they are presenting good quality rental accommodation to the market, they will not have many issues renting them back out. Our full property management service takes care of all aspects of the letting process for landlords and we have many on our books including some overseas investors who have been buying up many properties in the areas in which we operate. Given the recent significant changes in legislation for renting a property in Scotland, we do recommend landlords seek professional advice on all aspects of renting a property out. For more information on our management service for landlords, please feel free to get in touch.
Moving forward into the winter months of January and February, we do expect things to start picking up with the optimism of a New Year. We do expect to get many property new listings in the next couple of months from people who want to sell in 2016 but want to beat the Spring rush in March and get ahead of the competition by listing slightly earlier than a lot of other people. The start of a New Year can be a very good time to sell as there isn't a huge amount of competition, yet most people thinking of buying in 2016 will start their search at the beginning of the year. If you are thinking of selling you can really make your property stand out from the crowd and get an early sale by listing in January or February and capitalise on the wave of optimism that many people have at the start of a New Year. Here at Kelvin Valley Properties we will have a marketing deal coming up soon so keep your eyes peeled for that in the weeks ahead.