Capital housing market booms as demand expected to continue
PROPERTY experts have hailed 2016 as the Capital's strongest sellers' market for the past decade.
Rising house prices and demand are expected to continue into next year but debate has arisen as to whether more people will make the decision to sell their properties to even out the market.
The amount of people looking to buy flats and houses in Edinburgh is expected to boom next year due to interest rates being at a historically low level – making mortgage repayments more affordable than ever.
Rob Trotter, associate director at DJ Alexander Lettings, told of how many properties in Edinburgh have sold this year within just hours of being on the market.
He said: “Properties have been selling so quickly this year, we’ve had people ask us how it is even possible for them to go that fast.
“Many of these sales are people that are buying additional properties.
“The introduction of the Additional Dwelling Supplement, which requires those buying a second property to pay extra tax, hasn’t slowed down the market at all.
“The high demand of people looking to buy properties to rent them out is expected to continue into next year.”
David Marshall, operations director at Warner’s estate agents, believes the amount of people buying and selling will even out at the beginning of next year. He told of how 2016 has marked Edinburgh’s strongest seller’s market for the past decade.
He said: “There are some tentative signs that more sellers may now be ready to put their home on the market – and looking to act early in 2017.
“Once these sellers take the plunge in the new year it will help to redress the balance between supply and demand in the market. This will, in turn, reduce the upward pressure on house prices and make conditions a little easier for buyers.
“For first-time buyers, this increase in supply and corresponding cooling in house price inflation will be welcome news. The high level of competition amongst buyers, coupled with lenders’ reluctance to offer mortgages for more than the Home Report valuation, have made things challenging.
“With more properties coming onto the market it will mean that buyers may not have to bid quite as much to secure a property, making it a little easier for those looking to take their first step on to the property ladder.
“For sellers, whilst they may find conditions a little less favourable in 2017 than was the case this year, when they come to buy they will probably find that they are able to secure their new home for less than would otherwise have been the case.”
However, Peter Strang-Steel, a director at Savills said: “This year has been very positive, but demand has exceeded supply and that is likely to continue into 2017. Many people are seeing Edinburgh as a good place to invest – it has an incredibly skilled workforce.”
According to Mr Marshall house prices across Edinburgh and the Lothians will continue to “inch” upwards with an annual rise in prices of around three per cent.