Property firm's fears as stock levels plummet by up to 70 per cent in locations across Scotland

Property stock levels have plummeted by up to 70 per cent in cities and towns across Scotland on the back of factors such as pandemic-related challenges in housebuilding compounding a longstanding lack of new homes, according to new analysis.

The findings have been published by DJ Alexander, which as a result of a major takeover deal announced in December is part of the Lomond Group that claims to be the largest lettings and estate agency in Scotland.

Edinburgh-headquartered DJ Alexander found that the number of properties advertised for sale has fallen across Scotland from the most recent peak recorded in November 2020.

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It was down 70 per cent in Dundee over this period; 63 per cent in Dumfries; 58 per cent in Dunfermline; and 56 per cent in Perth. Next on the list was the 53 per cent drop seen in Glasgow; 51 per cent in Stirling; 49 per cent in Edinburgh and Paisley; 42 per cent in Inverness; and 18 per cent in Aberdeen.

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DJ Alexander Scotland chief executive and Scotsman columnist David Alexander said property prices have risen rapidly and continue to remain “buoyant” due to the supply shortage, with thousands fewer properties on the market compared to just 18 months ago.

He added: “That this is happening across Scotland from major urban areas to smaller towns tells you that the market is desperately short of supply which, in turn, is causing bidding wars for the properties that do come onto the market.

“However, we now have the property market going in two different directions. Interest-rate rises, the cost-of-living crisis, and utility prices rocketing are suppressing buyer interest at the same time that extremely low levels of stock are inflating demand… it is an unusual combination resulting in a contradictory market that is both booming and cooling at the same time.

DJ Alexander says it is seeing a 'contradictory market that is both booming and cooling at the same time'. Picture: Jon Savage.

“The causes of this shortage are varied including the loss of a substantial period of housebuilding due to the pandemic and subsequent labour and material shortages, but there had been low levels of new and development building in the years prior to 2020. The market needs a certain number of new properties each year simply to keep pace with demand, and if that stops for even a relatively short period the impact is substantial for some time to come.”