Housing market starts recovery as sales go up

For sale sign
For sale sign

New figures indicate that 
the residential property 
market in the Borders and north Northumberland is 
improving.

While there is considerable variation in trends across Scotland and average house prices have remained stable, the Borders in particular has seen movement in recent months.

The number of transactions has increased by nearly 20% as the value of housing has come down noticeably, making it a more attractive location to purchase.

Chartered surveyor Edwin Thompson, based in Berwick and Galashiels, has revealed a 51% increase in its house sales over the first quarter, an increase of more than double over two years for the same period.

“Our estate agency department has been going from strength to strength” said senior Edwin Thomson partner Neal Thompson.

“The market as a whole has not been good, but is starting to slowly pick up in some areas and we appear to be benefitting from word of mouth recommendations.

“In the Borders prices have had to come down considerably, but at least things are now starting to move.”

The firm also has a commercial department seeing considerable growth. “We have focused on giving vendors competitive prices for our services and a comprehensive package with no hidden extras” says Les Walsh, head of the said department.

“I think that’s attractive in a market where houses are slow to move. But most importantly each team focuses on strong client service – going the extra mile, and in particular giving realistic valuations.”

Rob Taylor, of Rettie South, based in Berwick, agrees. “In general the market seems to be showing signs of improvement,” he said. “Although we are a long way from the market being considered buoyant or seeing any improvement in values.

“We have however been very encouraged by the general increase in levels of activities and sales through the last three months.

“There still seems to be more activity in the towns with the country only now coming to life after a very long winter and we have been delighted with the levels of buyers coming from further afield who are looking for value for money or new lifestyle opportunities.

“What is pleasing to see is the fact that it seems to be across all price bands from first time buyer apartments to large family homes.”