The property market in Edinburgh is experiencing a post-lockdown boom with some estate agents reporting a massive surge in viewings.
Three months of inactivity has generated a backlog of demand and many sellers are looking to cash in at the top of the market before an anticipated dip toward the end of the year as economic reality starts to bite.
Agents have reported a rise in viewing requests of up to 400% compared with the same period last year and a doubling of home report downloads.
Though it’s doubtful many inquiries will already have converted into sales at this stage, another estate agency reported homes in the Capital routinely selling for 10% over their Home Report value.
Other welcome trends, for sellers at least, include a reported rise in buyers from London and the south-east buying homes in Edinburgh.
There’s feeling that many professionals have realised during lockdown that they’re perfectly able to work for London-based employers remotely without having to live in the city with its attendant downsides, including overpopulation, travel-to-work headaches, high living costs and exorbitant home prices.
July is traditionally a slow month and Covid-19 has created exceptional circumstances for this time of year but, nonetheless, the continued high demand for properties is an encouraging sign.
Our experience is that some prospective sellers remain cautious, worried that the middle of a pandemic is not the right time to liquidate their most valuable asset.
Our advice is always that, if you’re looking to sell, then the best time to do it is when the market is buoyant, usually following a surge of activity.
Having spent weeks in lockdown, some sellers have not hesitated and have set things in motion, looking to have a buyer in place and contracts signed before the autumn when, it’s anticipated, we could see a second wave of the virus hit.
Homeowners in Edinburgh are in a rare and fortunate position as business has yet to return to normal in many other parts of Scotland.
In the fortnight following the resumption of the property market across the country, new listings fell by half, below the five-year average, according to one estate agent. In addition, new prospective buyers were down 60% and viewings by 36%.
Unlike in the Capital, trading activity in other parts of Scotland has been more irregular, in keeping with the time of year and perhaps reflecting some underlying nervousness about what’s in store for the market further down the line.
The big winners, of course, will be homeowners in Edinburgh who have already reached the top of the property ladder and are now looking to downsize. They can confidently look forward to realising near record returns for their homes, certainly post 2008.
Even those looking to upsize may find themselves in the fortunate position of selling at this high point in the market and, if they are in no hurry to find a new property immediately, to buy if and when the market cools down.
Of course, it goes without saying that you should take professional advice before making any major financial decisions.
For more information about properties for sale in your area visit www.purdiesolicitors.co.uk or telephone 0131 346 7240.