Future looks bright for local property market, say experts

A property consultancy said this week it believes the outlook is optimistic for 2015 with encouraging levels of activity in the property market.

The fourth quarter of 2014 (October - December) saw property sales and letting figures in Dumfries and Galloway continue to grow on the previous quarter’s figures according to new research conducted for CKD Galbraith’s office in Castle Douglas.

Despite the slowdown during the referendum the market returned to some normality in November and confidence returned along with buyers from south of the border and overseas buyers.

Following research conducted for the firm’s Castle Douglas office statistics from quarter four of 2014 show the number of successful sales through the Castle Douglas office doubled from quarter three to four

There was also a 27% increase when the sales figure were compared to the final quarter of 2013

The office witnessed high levels of interest from buyers across the rest of Scotland and from English buyers in particular; for the fourth quarter 10% of buyers were local, 85% national and 5% international

David Corrie, of CKD Galbraith’s Castle Douglas office, said: “As expected some the pent up buying power was released following the Scottish referendum in September. This continued right the way through the months of November and December and is evident still and likely to be reflected in the first quarter’s figures for 2015 as well.

“With the upcoming changes to stamp duty in Scotland set to take affect from 1st April onward there has been a noticeable willingness to transact at the top end of the market. General elections typically cause a slight slowdown in activity which we fully expect around May, but generally we are very optimistic for the year ahead; the property sector is on path for continued growth across Dumfries and Galloway.”

There were also positive signs in the Dumfries and Galloway lettings sector.

Marion Currie, of CKD Galbraith’s Castles Douglas Office, said: “The demand for high quality lets in the region has remained steadily high with supply of rental properties slowly increasing to go some way towards meeting this demand. Our landlords know their properties will be well managed by CKD Galbraith, our local office and knowledge has attracted those ‘reluctant landlords’, who have not had success in selling, to make full use of their property assets during the ongoing rental boom, effectively allowing them to move on themselves.

“Tenants are increasingly particular about the properties they seek; there is a trend of young professionals letting larger townhouses and remaining in the rental market for longer rather than buying in the current mortgage market. Therefore, these are people looking for a home as opposed to a stop-gap and want assurances of quality and good management.”

CKD Galbraith operates a network of regional offices located throughout the country and has enjoyed good growth over the last year. The firm as a whole experienced a 24% increase in the number of sales in the final quarter of 2014 compared to the third quarter. As well as the improvement in sales figures, there was also a 23% increase in the number of viewings against 2013’s figures for the final quarter.

Throughout 2014, CKD Galbraith handled property in excess of £375million covering property throughout the whole of Scotland. Prices achieved for all properties sold by the firm during 2014 were, on average 1.54% over the asking price, highlighting the firm’s unrivalled local knowledge of the market and expertise in setting prudent valuations.