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Guest Blog // from Grant Robertson FRICS, Chairman of Allied Surveyors

Guest Blog // from Grant Robertson FRICS, Chairman of Allied Surveyors For some time now there has been an inevitability to a slowdown in the Glasgow Property Market.  House price inflation has been running ahead of wage inflation for over two years and this allied to the increase in interest rates which have been brought forward by the Bank of England to tackle inflation has together with the general cost of living increases put the squeeze of household expenditure which has to have a direct effect on affordability.  Whilst the new “grownups” at Westminster have steadied the financial ship and it would appear the interest rates will now peak at a level perhaps 1.5 to maybe 2% below the levels which were being intimated in September, the kneejerk reaction by the banks has driven two-year fixed rates in excess of 6% against current base rates of 3%.  I expect those rates will continue to soften and allow some affordability back into the housing market. Markets are of course driven by supply and demand and supply has been at historically low levels for over a decade and it is likely that as we witness a slowdown in new house completions, the supply and demand imbalance will continue for many years to come.  What we are witnessing just now is concerns over the ‘double deposit’ where purchasers having had to pay 15 or 20% over home report value as well as then finding their deposit between the valuation and their loan to value.  The implications of this could be that a flat selling over the home report of the £150,000 and selling for £180,000 means the purchaser has to find £30,000 to bridge that cap and then perhaps on a 75% loan to value to find another £40,000 meaning a deposit of £70,000 for a flat that essentially valued at £150,000.  This is making it very difficult to completed purchases. Home report values must reflect the current evidence of sales whether in a growth or recessionary market.  Home Report values do of course naturally lag market sales because surveyors are looking at completed sales 3-6 months behind where the market works in real time.  I expect the frothy prices over home report value to drop back and that the limited cash available to purchases as they offset the cost of living increases and other financial concerns.  Overall,  we will therefore see that the strong sales prices of late 2021 and early 2022 softened by perhaps around 10% whilst home report values themselves are unlikely to see any change for any period of time to come.  As others have written in this blog, interest rates at 3% remain at half of what historic long-term rates have been and for those of us who remember the early 1990’s buying our properties at 16%, the current rates seem laughably low.  Undoubtedly, it is not fun for people who have seen their mortgage payment double and perhaps even head towards triple through the last few months, but rates have to be viewed against a historic level of affordability which remains within perfectly reasonable margins in Scotland. In summary, low levels of supply against more modest levels of demand will maintain the value of properties to within 10% of the stronger values paid through 2022 and we see a freeing up of parts of the market, particularly in terms of downsizers who now can see the point of selling their property, banking some cash and helping out their children or grandchildren where over the last decade with ultra-low interest rates, there has been little or no point to do so.  Sales are still happening but all involved in the transaction be that agent, solicitor, lender, surveyor buyer or seller need to be alert to the changing landscape and ensure lines of communication remain open and that trigger points are addressed well before time constraints kick in. The property world is in a state of flux and now is the time to use experienced professionals who can adapt and perform in challenging circumstances. Should you be thinking of selling in the new year for complimentary valuation our experienced team will guide you through the process. Visit Allied Surveyors Scotland online. 

Properties, Edinburgh, Guides, Portobello

Focus on Portobello (Property & History)

Focus on Portobello (Property & History) Located a mere 3 miles east of Edinburgh city centre, Portobello is a beautiful coastal suburb standing opposite the breathtaking Firth of Forth.  Once a popular Scottish seaside resort, it now offers a generous mix of property types and amenities, perfect for families and professionals alike.  In this short post, we take a look at Portobello’s history, property, and reasons why you might want to call this particular part of Scotland home.  A (Very) Brief History of Portobello Originally known as Figgate Muir, the area now known as Portobello was used as pasture for cattle by the monks of Holyrood Abbey.  By the 18th century, it was a haunt for sailors and smugglers. And in 1742, a cottage was built on what is now the High Street by George Hamilton, a seaman who’d served under Admiral Edward Vernon. Hamilton was part of a crew who’d captured Porto Bello (“beautiful port”) in Panama in 1739, and so he named his cottage “Portobello Hut” in honour of the victory.  From that point on, Portobello continued to grow and thrive, becoming an industrial town where bricks, glass, paper, soap, pottery, and even mustard were manufactured. In 1833, the town was officially made a burgh, and by 1896, it was incorporated into Edinburgh. Between 1846 and 1964, a railway station provided easy access to the resort town for visitors from all over the country. They would flock to the town for the sandy beach, promenade, amusements, and open-air heated swimming pool, where a certain Mr Sean Connery once worked as a lifeguard.  In later years, the arcade amusements and funfair attractions gradually disappeared. However, what remains is a small, sought-after residential area with history and fresh sea air at every turn. And as recently as 2021, it was considered one of the top eight places to live in Scotland by a Sunday Times panel. What About Portobello Property? Similar to many parts of the capital itself, Portobello properties for sale often include gorgeous (and spacious) Georgian and Victorian flats and large terraced houses.  But it’s not a town trapped in time. Modern developments have started to pepper the landscape, allowing first-time buyers the chance to get on the property ladder in this picturesque part of the country.  Why Choose to Live by the Seaside? Besides the east coast beach and promenade (filled with cafes, restaurants, and bars), you’ll find everything you need in and around Portobello High Street. From independent shops to a butcher, fishmonger, coffee shops, and a bakery, you’ll certainly be well fed!  Meanwhile, for those “bigger shops,” you’ve got your choice of Lidl, Morrisons, and a Sainsbury’s Local, while a 24-hour Asda is just a short car journey away. And for entertainment, the nearby Fort Kinnaird shopping centre offers high street brands, restaurants, a gym, and a cinema. If you’re considering Portobello to raise a family, schooling is available for all levels, from nursery to secondary school. And higher education is only a stone’s throw away. Queen Margaret University, the University of Edinburgh, and Edinburgh college are all located in and around the city.  Finally, for commuters, the A1 and motorway are both easily accessible. Plus, regular buses run into Edinburgh city centre (and further afield) throughout the day and evening.  Ready to Start Your Portobello Property Hunt? Use Cairn We’ve long had a presence in Edinburgh, and we’ve recently opened a brand new Portobello office to better serve those wishing to move to, rent from (or sell from) this stunning seaside town. Interested in buying in Portobello? Or do you need a local estate agent to help you sell or rent your Portobello property? No matter if you’re a house-hunter or seller, Cairn can help.  Contact us today to learn more.

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