Scotland’s property market is booming after lockdown, according to experts, as buyers look for more space.
Estate agents saw record interest online while the market was suspended but that theoretical interest is now turning into sales.
Jamie Osborne, associate partner at Rettie & Co, says it’s been like a “tidal wave”.
“We’ve seen an urgency in buyers and sellers that I’ve never seen before,” he says.
“In terms of volumes, it’s just incredible. We sold in excess of 60 homes in July and 70 in August, which is two and a half times what we would normally sell as summer is usually a slow time in the market with everyone on holiday.
“The majority of properties are going to closing date with multiple offers, sometimes as many as 20 bidders.
“And that’s having an effect on prices. We’re seeing properties going for 10% or often double that or more on top of the home report value.”
Jamie says, while properties are on and off the market at record speed, priorities have changed. “People in rentals are wanting to buy, people in one-bedroomed properties want two, people with two bedrooms want three and so on.
“And there’s a huge demand for outdoor space, whether that be a deck, a balcony or a little patch of grass. Outdoor space is a gold mine.
“People are spending more time at home, working from home and they want more space – like an office, a second living room, or a garden for the kids – perhaps sooner than they might have thought about pre-lockdown.”
Andrew Perratt, head of residential at Savilles, said there’s also a trend of moving out of the city, particularly to places where they can enjoy the outdoors for a more relaxed, rural way of life.
“The main driver is more space, and outside space in particular.
“People have realised they can work more remotely and don’t need to commute into the city centre for work as often, or even at all. Many buyers are upsizing to include an extra bedroom to use as an office and are prepared to put up with a longer commute if it’s only a couple of days a week.
“People used to ask us about the proximity of the station for travelling into work, but now they are asking about cycle lanes. And one of the first questions we are asked is ‘What’s the broadband speed?’ With more people working from home, the internet connection has never been more important.”
Jonny Dickson, director at Slater Hogg & Howison, says countryside and coastal towns like Helensburgh, where he is based, are particular hotspots.
“In a slightly bizarre way, Covid-19 has put places like Helensburgh back on many people’s radar as premium coastal towns,” he says.
“With the cleaner sea air, excellent amenities, and leisure pursuits, it’s been a wake-up call as many people reset and perhaps come out their comfort zones and want to try something a little different.”
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