Scottish residential property market set to re-open ‘with a bang’
The Scottish housing market is set to open today as the country enters phase two of the Scottish government’s route map out of the coronavirus crisis.
Cameron Ewer, head of Savills Residential in Scotland said it was important to note that “sales activity hasn’t stood still during lockdown”.
He said: “Deals have been agreed, viewings and valuations have continued remotely and there has been overwhelming desire to get on with things.
“Since lockdown measures were eased in England a couple of weeks ago, Savills viewings have increased by 28 per cent and enquiries by 58 per cent compared with the same period last year. Prior to the pandemic, Scotland had seen record market activity and the market here is set to reopen with a similar bang this week, with pent-up demand already outstripping supply.
“A refreshing constant through all the challenges of the last decade (from the Scottish Independence debate, to Brexit negotiations) has been an increasing level of demand for Scottish property. The level of enquiries we have received during lockdown suggests this has not changed, with demand levels boosted by a surge in interest from London. Interestingly we have seen a 71 per cent rise in the number of London buyers viewing our properties located in Scotland in May, compared to the start of the year. Larger homes with home-working options, room for extended family, and with gardens and access to the green space are proving to be particularly sought after.”
He added: “Easing the restrictions in Scotland has come slightly later here and we have been able to learn from Savills colleagues based south of the border about the most effective measures we can put in place in order to deliver best service to our clients here. As such, we are confident that we can prioritise safety, efficiency and provide up to date market information in order to advise our clients in what is likely to be a fast-moving market.
“The cautious nature of Scottish government’s route map to ease COVID-19 lockdown, which began on 28 May, meant that online market appraisals and virtual viewings remained the default position during Phase One. These have both proved to be very effective means of progressing sales throughout lockdown. As we move to Phase Two, they will continue to be important features of our housing market, especially when clients are at the early stages of their property search, or would require to travel significant distances to view a property, or indeed are shielding.
“We have put stringent protocols in place to protect clients and staff involving the wearing PPE equipment, limiting the number of people visiting a house at any one time and ensuring social distancing is observed, and will be carrying out in-person viewings for those who do not feel comfortable doing so themselves. From an agent’s point of view, it will be fantastic to be able see our buyers and sellers again and helping them to meet their buying and selling objectives in a re-energised Scottish housing market.”