Housing market shows positive signs of growth

Linda Black, head of property sales Fife for Pagan Osborne.
Linda Black, head of property sales Fife for Pagan Osborne.

Despite many changes during the year, 2014 has shown positive growth for the property market in Fife, according to a local property expert.

Linda Black, head of property sales in Fife at Pagan Osborne, says that despite the uncertainty around events such as the referendum and changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax, property in the area has been performing well over the last 12 months.

Figures released by Registers of Scotland reveal the average price of a residential property increased by 5.2 per cent during the second quarter of 2014/2015 compared with the same period the previous year. At the same time, the volume of property sales grew by 9.1 per cent, while total value also increased by 14.8 per cent on the year.

Linda said: “These promising results are indicative of an overall renewed confidence in the property market, and this trend is certainly something we’ve observed in our offices.

“Our Fife offices – in Cupar, St Andrews and Anstruther – performed extremely well in 2014. There was a significant increase in property prices in our St Andrews office, up 11.4 per cent on 2013’s figures. Our Cupar branch witnessed growth in the number of listed homes, which was up 14 per cent on the year. The number of properties sold also increased in all areas, with a 29 per cent lift in the Cupar branch alone.

“In all three offices, there was a significant increase in the number of properties being sold on or above the initial asking price. In our St Andrews branch, for example, 73 per cent of properties were sold at or over the asking price, compared with 53 per cent of homes in 2013. In Anstruther, 59 per cent sold on or above the asking price; an increase from 51 per cent the previous year.

“In Cupar, 36 per cent of listed properties sold for above the initial price.

“Overall, we can take from these results as a sign that buyer and seller confidence in the property market is finally returning.”

Looking ahead to 2015, the introduction of the proposed new Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT) on April 1 is expected to have an impact on the market.

Linda added: “The enforcement of the new system will encourage people with high-valued properties to sell before the LBTT comes into force, when the UK-wide Stamp Duty is not so punitive.

“We also predict more new build sales forming part of the market in the north east region of Fife. This is because we have witnessed an increase in developer clients consulting on future projected values on proposed sites.

“The purchase of buy-to-let properties is also anticipated to continue increasing next year.

“In the St Andrews area in particular, two-bed central properties ideal for student lets will continue to be first choice purchases, whilst House in Multiple Occupation licensing remains difficult for larger properties in the town.”