A leading Scottish law firm has recorded its busiest ever month in the property market – with its home sales during August up 80 per cent on the same month last year.
Lindsays has also recorded a sharp increase in the value of the properties it sold by its residential property teams in Edinburgh and Dundee, achieving a total combined value of £31.45m – an increase of 114 per cent on the same period in 2019.
Breaking those numbers down, home sales in Edinburgh during August rose by 150 per cent on the year, with the total values recorded almost double their 2019 level at £20.95m.
In Dundee, the number of properties on which offers were accepted has risen by 40 per cent, with the collective value of the homes sold there up by 38 per cent at £10.5m.
The figures confirm a hugely competitive market with intensifying demand from both buyers and sellers since Covid-19 restrictions on the home sales industry were relaxed in June.
Maurice Allan, Residential Property Managing Director at Lindsays, said: “August has been an unprecedented month for us. The activity we have seen in has been quite exceptional.
“We expected demand to be high after restrictions that were in place at the height of the pandemic were eased – and there was always a feeling before that what we would see during lockdown was more of a pause in the market rather than a dip. That’s what has played out in July and August. If anything, the months of lower activity has created a bottleneck of demand, and the flurry of enquiries, viewings and sales we are seeing is the realisation of that.”
The team at Lindsays say they are finding that properties at all price and of all sizes are selling quickly, supported by a positive picture generally from lenders.
Before June 29th, the house sales industry had been close to dormant – with no in-person viewings able to take place and very few new sales agreed – since the nation was ordered into lockdown in March.
Maurice Allan added: “We are seeing a good number of first-time buyers and, in common with what we have seen for some time now, the trend of people buying subject to the sale of their own property has continued too.
“We obviously don’t know what the future holds in terms of the wider economy, but what we are experiencing right now is a resilient and vibrant market, which we hope will leave us well placed to weather any challenges which may emerge. There are a great deal of positives to be had in the markets in which we operate right now, from both the sellers’ and buyers’ points of view.”
Lindsays staff conducting viewings do so within Government rules over social distancing and hygiene requirements, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Guidance documents are shared with viewers and sellers. Video meetings are also held with clients and remote valuations are possible.
Before an in-person viewing can take place, all prospective purchasers first take part in a virtual viewing of a property, generally via a video tour. This is reducing the number of speculative in-person viewings.