Argyll & Bute Housing Market Update – September 2015

Argyll & Bute Housing Market Update – September 2015

The state of the housing market is generally defined by two key criteria, the average house price (whether prices are up or down) and the volume of sales. It is common for one to be up whilst the other goes down, i.e. as prices drop, more sales are instigated, and conversely, prices going up can be an inhibitor to the quantity of sales.

In Argyll and Bute, unfortunately both criteria were down in the last quarter compared against the same quarter last year. Prices were down by 1.6% and the volume of sales was down by 4.2%, whereas many other regions in Scotland have reported rises in both sales and average price, indicating a very strong market in those regions. Indeed, Scotland as a whole was ‘up’ in both respects.

So, all doom and gloom for those of us in Argyll & Bute then?

Well, perhaps if you’re trying to sell a property right now it’s not so good, but overall it’s perhaps no bad thing. As any economist will tell you, steady sustained growth is the order of the day, and in cyclic conditions, rapid growth is usually followed by a sharp correction – i.e market instability. So after a short period of growth, a small reduction is perhaps no bad thing for the greater good and the long-term stability of the housing market – something I think we can all agree is a good thing.

It should also be borne in mind that whilst these figures are worthwhile noting, the sample size isn’t big enough to make the figures greatly statistically significant, and just one or two data anomalies e.g a handful of sales of properties at above or below true market value can skew the data somewhat, particularly on average price.

Also positive for the housing market are the historically low borrowing costs. For the last few years there has been talk of when the record low interest rates would start to be increased – and this certainly seemed imminent over the last year or so – however within the last few days the Bank Of England voted 8-1 in favour of keeping the interest rates at the historic low of 0.5% , and the Guardian recently reported that the City is now predicting that UK interest rates will be on hold until autumn 2016. This decision perhaps being partly due to the fact the property market remains subdued.

….and finally, just as I conclude this blog, The Herald Scotland are reporting that House prices in Scotland are expected to rise by 5% over the course of the year, so is now the perfect time to buy a property? Only you can decide, but please feel free to browse all of our properties and plots for sale here, and if you would like to view any of our properties, we will be delighted to hear from you.

Footnote:
I had an interesting chat with Registers of Scotland recently, and I queried why the average price figure for 2014 Q2 Argyll & Bute changed from when it was first reported in 2014 to it being reported now (as the reference figure for 2015), and I asked which figure was correct. They told me that they often go back and change historic figures(!), so there’s another reason to take the figures with a small pinch of salt!

[Argyll & Bute Average House Price, April – June 14
£156,495 (as reported 29 July 2014)
£156,066 (as reported 28 July 2015)]