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Market Commentary September 2019

In this edition of the blog we thought you might be interested to read about the growth of short term lets. This refers to Airbnb and other platforms used to rent out rooms or entire properties for short periods of time.

There has been massive growth. In Edinburgh alone, the number of Airbnb listings more than doubled in the two years to July 2018 to 12,578 properties. As at July 2017 in Scotland there 21,900 Airbnb listings in total, split roughly 60% entire homes, 40% spare rooms.

According to Airbnb, in 2017 economic activity of hosts and guests was equal to £483 million, and Visit Scotland estimated that Airbnb accounted for 5% of all tourism accommodation in 2016.

Whilst the Scottish Executive recognise the benefit to the Scottish economy, they have several concerns about the rapid growth of this sector, and we await the conclusions of a consultation process that was concluded in July this year.

These concerns include permanent residents suffering from anti-social behaviour of guests using adjacent Airbnb properties. The possibility that in certain areas it may be coming increasingly difficult for people to live and work locally as more and more property owners switch from long term renting to short term lets. That this may also be putting more upward pressure on rents for long term let, Also, that presently, unlike the private rented sector, the Airbnb sector is completely unregulated, property owners do not have to register or comply with any minimum health and safety laws that apply to long term letting.

Ultimately the Scottish Executive seems likely to introduce some regulatory framework to allow local councils to set minimum standards, keep a register of short term let property owners and possibly control both the number properties operated as short terms lets in certain areas, and the number of days such a property may be let for in a given period of time.

We await the outcome of the consultation process.

Latest House Price Information

Latest house price data made available by Scottish Registers is for July 2019, and it shows that the average house price in Scotland as a whole, rose to £187,733, compared to the average house price in July 2018, an increase of 3.1%.

In West Lothian though, in July 2019 the average house price stood at £188,382, compared to July 2018, an increase of 7.6%.

The volume of property sold in Scotland as a whole, in July 2019, actually showed drop of 4.9% compared to July 2018 at 9,853 properties.

This editions house selling tip; With more and more people spending at least some time working from home, broadband speeds have become serious business.

Make sure you have a good download speed and that you know what it is, so prospective buyers can be made aware of this.

At the very least make enquiries with providers to find out what download speeds are possible.

Date Posted: 21/10/2019

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