Edinburgh firm Lindsays sells almost £180 million-worth of properties despite lockdown hiatus
Legal firm and estate agent Lindsays has sold almost £180 million-worth of properties, up on the year before despite a three-month Covid-19 wipeout.
The Edinburgh-based firm, which also has offices in Dundee and Glasgow, said a post-lockdown house-move boom had led to a 4.3 per cent year-on-year increase in sales at its residential property division. Homes valued at a total of £177.3m changed hands through the team.
The upturn in the last financial year came despite the house moving industry almost grinding to a halt for three months at the peak of the pandemic through restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The firm said the market bounced back strongly – with £100m-worth of sales recorded between August and November alone.
Lindsays’ residential property team also carried out 6.2 per cent more property valuations in the 2020-21 financial year, compared to the previous 12 months.
Maurice Allan, managing director of residential property at Lindsays, said: “There’s no doubt that many people used the first lockdown as an opportunity to think about where they wanted to live – and were quick to react when restrictions eased in the summer.
“In 20 years in the property industry I have never experienced such intense interest as when we worked our way through that bottleneck.
“Had anyone told us this time last year that we would be recording an increase in sales when compared to 2019-20 I would have struggled to believe them. But that only goes to show the strength of Scotland’s housing market currently.
“Strong buyer demand, coupled with a slight shortage of available property, has created a really competitive market throughout the past year.
“To be able to record a rise in sales in a year that included three months of what was a near shutdown of the industry is quite remarkable. We’re incredibly proud of what the team has been able to achieve for our clients.”
The firm noted that demand had been particularly high for homes with gardens or other outdoor spaces, with buyers also looking for properties that allow for dedicated home working areas.
In Edinburgh, the firm reported a near 9 per cent rise in sales on the year, with values achieved totalling £102.5m.
The remaining near £75m of other homes sold were in Tayside – with the numbers sold level on the year, highlighting the steady nature of the regional market.
Looking ahead, Allan added: “Demand remains robust and the market for houses in particular is buoyant.
“The financial consequences of Covid-19 are unlike anything we have seen before in the fact that lenders are still making money available to borrowers – and that the government is encouraging them to – despite the wider challenges in the economy, something we have not experienced in previous periods of uncertainty. That continues to be good for the property market.”
The firm said its staff were conducting viewings within Scottish Government rules over physical distancing and hygiene requirements. Guidance documents are shared with viewers and sellers. 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.