Scots areas alone in UK see rise in home sales inquiries

Three areas of Scotland are the only places in the UK to have seen an increase in home sales enquiries this year, despite an overall drop across the UK as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The findings come from a study carried out by property trading firm WeBuyAnyHome, examining the effects of the pandemic on the housing market.

Figures show a considerable fall in house sales enquiries between January and September 2020 across the UK as a whole, falling by 32 per cent.

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In Scotland, enquiries fell by almost 22 per cent.

A new study by property trading firm WeBuyAnyHome, examining the effects of the pandemic on the housing market, shows Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire and Dunbartonshire were the only places in the UK to see an increase in sales enquiries at the height of the first lockdown
A new study by property trading firm WeBuyAnyHome, examining the effects of the pandemic on the housing market, shows Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire and Dunbartonshire were the only places in the UK to see an increase in sales enquiries at the height of the first lockdown

However, Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire and Dunbartonshire bucked the trend, with an increase in interest compared to the same time last year - going up by 53.5 per cent, 40 per cent and 11.8 per cent respectively.

At the height of the first lockdown, between April and June, Scotland saw an even bigger drop-off than the rest of the nation.

Enquiries were down more than 48 per cent north of the border, compared to nearly 38 per cent across the UK.

The largest decrease was in Stirling, with no sales enquiries in the second quarter of 2020.

But Dundee has seen the biggest overall decline in interest, with zero enquiries between January and September.

The lowest decrease was in East Lothian, with a drop of just 4.5 per cent.

Nationwide, properties for the elderly saw the biggest drop in enquiries during the first lockdown, falling by more than 60 per cent.

The study, which can be accessed as an interactive tool, also looks at the correlation between home sales figures and the amount of positive Covid-19 cases registered in each area, as well as factors such as seller demographics across regions.

Analysis illustrates the impact Covid-19 has had and may continue to have on the Scottish and UK property markets.

Market experts are warning that market trends are expected to fluctuate significantly in the coming months as the nation continues to battle a second wave of the deadly disease, with people on the lowest incomes and least secure jobs likely to be hardest hit.

Mark Irwin, marketing director at WeBuyAnyHome, said: “The property market, like the global economy, has gone through unprecedented changes in 2020, and the truth is that no one can be exactly sure what will happen next.

“We decided to examine our own data and create a proprietary tool to better predict some of the trends within the housing market.

“The findings indicated which parts of the UK will be most impacted by the economy’s struggles in the last year and who is set to recover best.

“By interpreting these figures and factoring in increasingly stringent Covid-19 protections, we expect the current ‘bubble’ we’re seeing to continue into early 2021, followed by a dip of up to 20 per cent if the economy worsens.

“We anticipate lower-value properties that don’t benefit from the stamp duty reduction to be more acutely impacted, especially as they tend to belong to lower income residents who may be more susceptible to job losses and need to sell as a result.”

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