Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Homes In Scotland - Some Facts And Figures

It's always a delight - as well as a surprise - when a reader emails me about a post I've written and I'm very grateful so many take the time to write and keep me on the straight and narrow.

The case in point yesterday was this post and Mr Hordern has kindly given a link to his interpretation of the new Scottish Stamp Duty tax and I thought it may be of interest to you.

Some have said this will be another tax on the baby boomers who still live in the family home even though their children have long flown the nest, but that is not so. The elderly, if they do decided to sell, do so because their home is too large and/or expensive to maintain. Thus they will pay less tax on a smaller property and it's the younger generation with young families who will be hardest hit - once again.

He also affirmed Scottish property values are likely to be more sustainable than in other parts of the UK.

In my post I suggested that house prices had been pushed higher because of competition from 'outsiders' wishing to reside in an area.  Mr Hordern had unearthed a paper from Chris Muir who is a Geographical Information Systems Analyst at the Registers of Scotland - an organisation which records every property transaction in Scotland. Mr Muir's evidence clearly states that the overwhelming majority of Scots buying a property in a given area already live in and around that area.

That may be in the central belt but here in rural Perthshire - in the past 20 years - there has been a large influx of 'incomers'.  I am one of them as I've never lived in this area before but preferred a small community to the anonymity of a city. It could be, because I am an incomer myself, that I am more aware of others who have come to reside in this lovely part of the country, but I would suggest that Mr Muir's statistics, which are based on 'G' postcodes, is much higher in rural areas.

Of course I may well be wrong.

Note:  Mr Hordern is the chief executive of the Glasgow Solicitors Property Centre.

For readers outwith Scotland:  It's only in recent years that estate agents have become common in Scotland and the SPCs have had competition.


RMcGeddon said...

Statistics aren't all they seem SR.( as always
People will register as 'living locally' but will be renting and be among the thousands of non Scots who are in the Forces or on the rigs etc.
I know dozens off the top of my head who are from outside Scotland and who rented before buying locally.

Hamish said...

Re Estate Agents, I recall a few years back a lady opining that people only sold through an Estate Agent if there was something dodgy about the property. She was married to a lawyer, mind.
Talking of which, also some time ago, the head of one of the major firms of solicitors in Edinburgh was quoted in the press defending the monopoly of solicitors by claimimg it provided assurance that a bidder was not "a man of straw".
Shortly afterwards, I accepted a bid from a client of his very firm for my house.
On due date, the client intimated through my lawyer that he didn't have the funds to complete the deal. Did this eminent firm stand behind the bid and put up the money themselves?
No prizes for the answer.
The question of incomers is a thorny one. I was selling my Edinburgh house in order to raise funds to set up my own business and had bought a derelict cottage in the Borders. The cottage had been on the market for two years so I can fairly say I was not squeezing out any locals looking to have a place of their own.

Woodsy42 said...

"in the past 20 years - there has been a large influx of 'incomers'. I am one of the"

But you can argue this any way you want. As an incomer you may be raising local house prices making it harder for young locallers (bad). But on the other hand you will be releasing a property elsewhere, likely in a town or city where people work and need homes (so good). Pick your side.
I have lived in my house here in an english village for 30 years, in the area for 40 years, but I wasn't born anywhere near here. Neither was my neighbour, or the next family along, or the other neighbour. But we all left houses behind for other folks to live in.
It only matters when large numbers of people all decide they need to live in the same areas creating imbalance between areas.

JRB said...

I am concerned that those living in and around G and EH postcodes are developing a myopic view of the country and that areas like the Highlands are so far removed as not to enter their field of vision.
Too often those living in the commercial and administrative centres erroneously believe that what applies on their doorstep can be extrapolated across the entire country.

The problem would appear to be one of simple arithmetic.
There is a major shortfall in new builds, especially in affordable starter homes for those setting out on life’s highway.
The vast majority of properties on the market are only available to those who have an existing property and mortgage and are up-sizing, first time buyers are completely priced out of the market.
The net result is that the younger generation have to head to the cities of the central belt to find affordable accommodation, thus leaving areas like the Highlands to an ever ageing population.

… and so the cycle continues.

subrosa said...

That's a good point RM, but it must be difficult to collate accurate information, although it would have depended upon the questions asked. As I said, I think far more incomers have come here in the past 20 years and especially those from the south who have much more money to spend.

subrosa said...

Hi Hamish, interesting wee tale.

That's a trick of gazumping I think. Used to happen a lot in England and the ploy was to hope that the purchaser would reduce the price as it was so near completion date.

I did exactly that here Hamish, although I was against those with far more money and I did pay over the odds. 20% over the asking price. I don't regret it though.

subrosa said...

Pick your side indeed Woodsy, I agree.

It's the size of houses rather than the area or perhaps a combination of both?

subrosa said...

JRB, there's no major shortfall in new builds here. There are 4 estates still being developed and two of those have been on the go for more than 10 years and still not complete.

The developers get the go-ahead on the pretext that they will build 25% as social housing then quietly that is dropped.

I sympathise with the youngsters as around here houses are all in the middle to upper range bracket and there's nothing for the newly weds unless they have saved a handsome deposit.

But the younger generations don't do saving for deposits I'm told.

As for your area it's rather similar to here. The cycle goes on and the youngsters end up in privately rented housing which was snapped up by developers then refurbished. They're at the mercy of these landlords who raise the rents annually regardless of the economic situation.

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