Scottish house sales up 10pc

Sam Cordon

October 16, 2013

However house prices were down 0.3% on an annual basis to £143,278.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “First-time buyers are making a comeback in Scotland. But it is a much more muted recovery compared to south of the border.

“Falling housing prices have put a dampener on the Scottish housing market.

“The sluggish rate of growth, shown by the drop in prices by £303 monthly and by £480 compared to a year ago, adds to the many uncertainties facing the Scottish housing market. Yet there are several signs that things are changing.”

But Sexton said it was not all doom and gloom with the mortgage market “perking up” as the economy continues to recover.

He attributed the pick up to the bounce back in first-time buyers which has kick started the market.

He said: “Momentum is building in the housing market as the government is stretching out a helping hand to first-time buyers.

“Rising first-time buyer lending has boosted sales activity significantly, as first-time buyers can now take advantage of the many attractive mortgage deals on offer from banks and building societies.

“There has been a swift improvement in the availability of high loan-to-value mortgages which has sent waves of confidence across the board.

“Banks are being proactive in their approach and are happier to lend to borrowers that lack big deposits.

“Buyers are open to an improved range of mortgage deals, better pricing and more enhanced product choice due to the rise in competition.”

The Scottish government has recently unveiled its own version of the Help to Buy equity loan scheme and around £220m has been set aside to help borrowers on to the housing ladder.

Sexton said: “First-time buyers are crucial to the housing market’s health, but it is activity from second time buyers and other movers which will put upward pressure on prices and boost the rate of recovery all round.

“The Scottish government’s commitment to investment in affordable housing across Scotland will provide a firm foundation for the market’s growth in coming months.”

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