Joy building among estate agents as more homes sell

First-time buyers took advantage of the stamp duty holiday
First-time buyers took advantage of the stamp duty holiday
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A “mammoth” rise in the number of closing dates set for properties in the Capital points to renewed confidence in the market.

Since January, Edinburgh-based Warners Solicitors and Estate Agents have set closing dates for 50 properties, a 79 per cent rise on figures at the same point last year. And they said several properties sold for above the asking price, indicating that Edinburgh’s once-buoyant property market is finding its feet again.

Property Partner Scott Brown said: “There has been a noticeable turn this year as people started to think more positively about the property market.

“This renewed confidence has also coincided with interest rates reaching a record low 
and the relatively stable employment conditions in Edinburgh.

“This mood of optimism has continued, so much so that we are seeing multiple numbers of people bidding for properties and prices going for significantly above offers-over levels.”

A two-bedroom property in Joppa, which sold in April for £325,000, had seven notes of interest and five offers. The property was sold for 18 per cent above the asking price.

Mr Brown added: “That is a very encouraging sign for people who have a desirable property for sale – for the right property, demand is strong.

“The percentage of properties going to closing dates this year has increased rapidly – we surpassed 2011’s level in mid-April, which we are taking as a positive indicator that the 
market is improving.”

The increase could be in part due to first-time buyers looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, which ended in March, said Mr Brown.

Warners has sold 460 residential properties so far this year, compared with 441 sales at the same point in 2011 – further evidence that properties continue to be sold in high numbers.

David Marshall, business analyst with the ESPC, said the number of properties sold in the Capital this year to date had increased by around ten per cent on last year, adding: “Certainly the first half of the year was the highest number of sales we had seen since 2008, which was the last pre-credit crunch period in terms of sales volumes.

“The number of homes 
selling is still significantly below what we saw in the early part of the last decade, but things certainly have improved.

“Property is more affordable – if you were to look at a one-bedroom flat in Gorgie or Dalry in 2008, you would have been looking at £130,000. Now it’s more £100,000, or even less.

“The number of first-time buyers has picked up, many people who were saving for a deposit but couldn’t buy because of the credit crunch have saved even more.”