According to Rightmove, nationally, we are seeing a tightening of supply and a slow down in the rate of house price growth.
Across the UK in October 2019 the average price annual increase was 0.6%, which compares to an average annual increase in October 2018 of 1.6%. Rightmove also stated that the number of properties coming to market was down by 13.5% compared to the same period last year. However, the number of house sales agreed remained virtually unchanged, suggesting more of a reduction in seller’s confidence in the housing market, rather than house buyers. This sentiment is also expressed in the latest RICS, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors market survey
Of course, there are important regional variations. An indication that the Scottish housing market continues to be more buoyant can be seen in that the average time to agree a sale in Scotland is 43 days, compared to 62 days nationally.
Latest available housing statistics from Scottish Registers are for August 2019. They show that the average house price in Scotland in August was £181,542, a rise of 1.35% on August 2018. In West Lothian the average price in August this year was £182,430, a rise of 4.8% on the August 2018 figure of £173,909.
There was a slight drop in Scotland, in the volume of house transactions. In August 2019 the total was 9,620, compared to 9,838 in August 2018.
We wrote in the last issue of the magazine about the focus that Airbnb and other short term tourist lets was receiving from the Scottish Executive and that there was a consultation process under way. Invitations to submit responses have now closed and the BBC report that a majority of respondents were in favour of reforms, although they were split on what these should be. They revealed a pretty staggering statistic that illustrates the continued growth of short term tourist lets. That is, that this summer in the Old Town in Edinburgh there were 812 active Airbnb lets per square Kilometre.
This seems to be borne out by the fact that the latest market survey produced by RICS, included comments from several Scottish based surveyors that they were seeing a trend of residential landlords moving away from long term lets and into Airbnb style tourist lets.
Home staging, is it worth the effort?. According to Rightmove, staging your property could add up to 8% to the value of your home. Based on the average house price in West Lothian that could be worth over £14,500. Staging a home before selling it is a fairly common practice in North America, but much less so here in the UK. At Paul Rolfe we firmly believe it is worth the effort, and need not cost hundreds or thousands of pounds to do. We frequently work with clients’ weeks and months before bringing a property to market, advising them how to stage their home to maximise it’s appeal to buyers. In a weak housing market, staging is still worth doing, it can make the difference between your property selling quickly and for the Home Report valuation, or sticking on the market for months.
There are plenty of resources available on line, just google home staging.