SHEPHERD CHARTED SURVEYORS has expressed optimism for the outlook of the North of Scotland’s housing market in 2024, amidst a nuanced scenario painted by the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) residential market survey.
The RICS survey reveals a decline in both demand and supply in the Scottish property market, resulting in reduced house sales and prices. However, despite these challenges, expectations for both prices and sales in 2024 have improved. Factors contributing to this optimism include the potential for base rate cuts and an ongoing mortgage price war.
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Stuart Dunne, managing partner in Shepherd’s Aberdeen office, commented on the positive aspects highlighted by the RICS survey: “The latest RICS residential market survey shows an increase where 22 per cent more respondents than in the previous RICS survey in Scotland expect prices to be higher in a year’s time and 10 per cent more of the respondents expect the number of sales to be higher.”
Dunne noted the resilience of the property market in Aberdeenshire over the past year, with generally stable prices. Despite a cooling period following the mini budget in September 2022 and rising interest rates, he expressed confidence in the market’s resurgence. With interest rates seemingly reaching a peak and inflation on a downward trend, Shepherd Chartered Surveyors anticipates increased transactions in the coming year.
Dunne emphasised Aberdeenshire’s unique position, stating, “Property prices in Aberdeenshire are low in comparison to other parts of Scotland, have been generally stable, and offer good value for money which should give buyers confidence. As such, we are cautiously optimistic about the prospects for Scotland’s housing market for the year ahead.”
In discussing the housing market in Inverness, Gregor Simpson, partner, expressed optimism for the year ahead, citing the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport as a significant driver. Simpson highlighted its potential to create approximately 10,000 jobs in and around Inverness, Ardersier, and Invergordon/Nigg.
While acknowledging the buoyancy of the market, especially at higher levels, Simpson pointed out challenges, such as tax implications leading some investors to exit the property market. This trend contributes to high rental levels due to a scarcity of supply.
Overall, Shepherd Chartered Surveyors’ nuanced assessment reflects both challenges and opportunities in the Scottish housing market, with optimism anchored in potential economic stimuli and the unique dynamics of regional markets.