Blair Stewart: Recovery in property market

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There is a glow of hope on the horizon of the Capital’s property market. Then again, of course I would say that – I’m an estate agent.

But you don’t need to take my word for it as I have statistics to back me up. According to one recent homes survey, the first nine months of this year saw 7000 sales take place in the city and in the last quarter they were going for an average of 4.5 per cent over the guide price. However, let’s not get too carried away, the glory days of mid-2000 are, and will remain for some time, a distant memory for parts of the market, but the thirst for good central Edinburgh properties seems unquenchable.

Recently at Strutt & Parker we’ve seen four flats developed by Signature Enterprises from a townhouse in Rutland Square get snapped up like free beer at an estate agents’ convention. All went for in excess of the home report value. Another flat on Chester Street was sold within ten days, which is a shame as someone in our office had their eye on it – they just weren’t quick enough. And it’s not only the New Town and West End where properties are being sold at a rate of “noughts”.

We are marketing Wemyss Properties’ latest project of 11 flats to be built next to the Rudolph Steiner School on Polwarth Terrace and 80 per cent have been sold for full guide price with only the foundations laid. And, let me tell you, little in life gives me as much pleasure as sticking a “sold” sign outside a big family house that has just been sold for more than £1 million. Not even that free beer mentioned earlier.

Upsizers, downsizers, investments buyers and those new to the Edinburgh property ladder are all out there – scouring the streets in the wish to put their hard-earned cash into bricks and mortar as well as a roof over their head. And that’s just the sort of news we need to hear as we head into 2014.

Blair Stewart heads the Edinburgh residential department at Strutt & Parker