Although the existing coronavirus restrictions have not yet been eased in Scotland, this has not prevented demand rising from Scottish property buyers and sellers in recent weeks.
Nicola Sturgeon unveiled a four phase "route map" last week which was aimed at restarting society while suppressing the virus.
A formal review of the lockdown later today, which is expected to include some preparation “for the safe reopening of the housing market”, will almost certainly give the green light to the first phase being introduced.
ESPC has seen steady increases in viewing enquiries, valuation requests, Home Report downloads and web traffic for a few weeks now.
While these figures are still lower than usual for this time of year, this increase highlights that there remains strong interest in moving home once some of the current restrictions have eased.
A number of agents have reported an increase in enquiries from property buyers and sellers in the last couple of weeks.
Edinburgh and the Lothians
Mary McQueen, partner at McDougal McQueen, an agent which operates in Edinburgh and the Lothians, said: “There’s definitely been an increase in new buyer enquiries, and viewers who previously enquired getting in touch again as they think in person viewings have resumed in Scotland as well. There have also been more enquiries asking for definite and dates when viewings will start.
“The majority of people do appreciate the need for restrictions but are very keen for them to be eased so we can get back to some sort of normality.”
Dianne Paterson, a partner at Russell + Aitken, an agent with offices in Edinburgh and Central Scotland, said: “Although the property market has not ceased completely during lockdown, it is noticeable that, since the regulations were relaxed in England, we have received an increased number of enquiries on both the sale and purchase side.
“Once the regulations in Scotland are relaxed, we anticipate that the Scottish market will be a busy one, fuelled by eager purchasers and sellers, whose plans were put on hold during this period. We are expecting an active few months, with both an increased interest in, and availability of, properties for sale.”
Michael Maloco, senior partner of Dunfermline-based Maloco + Associates, said: “We’ve had two really busy weeks. We’ve done five or six virtual valuations with four listings of the back of these. There have been lots of virtual viewings arranged and physical viewings booked in for when they are possible, with 18 bookings for one property alone. We may also have at least one closing date next week too.”
The Scottish Borders
Ron Hastings, director of Borders-based Hastings Legal, said: “Since the easing of restrictions in England, there’s been an increasing demand from buyers wanting to view properties. In this situation, virtual tours have been well-received, and we have agreed sales, keeping both sellers and buyers happy.
“We are expecting virtual tours to become the norm past the current lockdown period, particularly for viewers who are a distance away.”
Glasgow and the west of Scotland
Cochran Dickie Estate Agency has noted an increase in enquiries in the west of Scotland since news of some English property market activities resuming. Curtis Chisholm, Director of Cochran Dickie, said: “We have a number of enquiries coming in from people looking to view current stock. We have one house in Castlehead in Paisley, which went live just before lockdown, that has 58 viewers lined up.
“People are also looking for a valuation of their own home. Many weeks spent at home may have highlighted the difficulties of current properties for some people, who are now looking to move on.”
Dumfries and Galloway
Hewats Solicitors and Estate Agents in Dumfries and Galloway has noticed a significant increase in enquiries from English buyers since some of the market restrictions were eased down south.
Marion Walker, property manager at Castle Douglas-based Hewats Solicitors and Estate Agents, said: “Since the restrictions were lifted in the housing market in England, I have seen a significant increase in enquiries from south of the border. The enquiries range from asking about Home Reports to requests to book in person viewings, which are not currently available in Scotland due to lockdown measures.
“Following on from the recent bank holiday, I would say our daily enquires have risen by a good 50% plus, with English buyers commenting that they had always planned to move to the region and the current situation has moved their plans forward.”