Experts say house prices falling as weather puts off would-be buyers
NOT only is it depressing the nation, the prolonged rainy season in Scotland is having an effect on the housing market.
Property experts say a combination of the poor weather and this summer’s sporting bonanza on TV is cutting down the number of buyers actively seeking to move home.
New sellers coming on to the market now outnumber successful buyers by two to one, according to the Rightmove online property agency.
As a result, initial prices have been dropped by an average of £4,138 (-1.7 per cent), the largest monthly drop recorded in July since 2008. And the price falls may continue throughout the next six weeks, with long-term weather forecasts predicting more rain and potential buyers preferring to slump on the sofa to watch the Olympic Games rather than seek a new home.
The price falls are good news, however, for first-time buyers as Scottish properties are becoming more affordable. Figures released last week show that the number of first-time buyers in Scotland rose by a fifth in the first half of this year as house prices went down.
Miles Shipside, the director of Rightmove, said: “Those keen to sell this summer have the challenging confluence of miserable viewing weather, the continuing credit crunch plus a sporting distraction of Olympic proportions.
“Those who have been on the market for many months might consider the prospects of achieving a sale to be somewhat of an Olympian challenge given that actual sales completions are just half what they were five years ago.
“The weather might not be hot, but in most parts of the country the competition to sell is. Those fit to buy this summer will be looking for a property that is prepared for sale better than the rest in terms of value and quality.”
The latest statistics show that the monthly average rate of properties coming on to the market is almost double the level of completed sales. Data for the last 12 complete months shows average sales completions running at 56,220 per month, compared with new property listings over the same period of 102,121.
Shipside added: “Even though the supply of new properties coming to market remains constrained compared with pre-credit crunch levels, seller levels substantially outnumber those of buyers. Attracting the attention of those buyers is the first step on the road to a successful sale.”
Research into buyer behaviour on the Rightmove website shows that potential buyers spend an average of just 2.7 seconds looking at a seller’s advert summary before deciding whether to take their interest further.
Shipside said: “As a seller, your property advert has less than three seconds to make a positive impression with a potential buyer. Your property advert needs to give them reason enough to travel to visit your property, especially during one of the wettest summers on record.”
Agents across Scotland confirmed that the housing market had slowed in recent weeks after an initial rise in transactions of up to 25 per cent in the early spring.
Mark Hordern, chief executive of the Glasgow Solicitors’ Property Centre, said: “The market is not as buoyant as it was three months ago, and although this is difficult to attribute, the impact of the poor weather and the amount of sport may be a factor, if only marginal.
“What is more likely to have had an influence is the economic climate. Earlier in the year there appeared to be something of a slight economic upturn, but since then, with all the problems of the Eurozone, that has gone into reverse. People are worried about their jobs and income again and are not feeling secure enough to make major purchases.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North