Demand outstrips supply in Scotland’s property market in 2021

Landmark new logoBy Legal Futures Associate Landmark Information Group

The second edition of the Property Trends Report for Scotland, as published by Landmark Information Group, has identified the residential property industry has become more closely aligned to pre-pandemic 2019 volumes, yet a continued lack of new listings has the potential to place pressure on available property stock levels and house prices.

The cross-market trend analysis for the residential property market pipeline in Scotland spans account transaction movements from estate agency to legal conveyancing sectors. The latest edition assesses Q4 2021 market trends versus 2019 and offers a truly unified view of the Scottish property market.

The report confirms that Single Survey instruction volumes were down by 14% in October 2021 and 4% in December 2021, compared to the same months in 2019, while November data was consistent with volumes from two years ago. It is relevant to note however that November 2019 volumes were lower than usual due to the parliamentary elections and the UK-EU Brexit Withdrawal Agreement discussions, which led to unusually subdued Scottish property market conditions.

Key Findings

Property Listings

Demand continued to outpace supply with single survey volumes on average 8% down across the 12-months of 2021 when compared to 2019 data. Between October to December 2021, single survey instructions were, on average, down 6% when compared to pre-pandemic figures of October to December 2019. Overall, there was some improvement in the second half of 2021 with volumes down by an average of 4%, but still meaning there was less housing stock available on the open market as we exited the year.

Sold Subject to Missives

Sold Subject to Missives activity levels between October and December were on average up by 4% compared to 2019 volumes. The data is more reflective of the pre-pandemic statistics since the market presented a more stabilised picture by the second half of 2021.


The last quarter of 2021 resulted in completions closely matching 2019 data at just 2% down, on average, from the pre-pandemic figures.  Across the course of the year, completions have fluctuated, with the end of each quarter ending on a high: 13%, 14% and 18% up in March, June and September, while December finished just 1% up when compared to 2019 data, with a steadier picture emerging as the year closed.

Registered Sales

While emergency Covid-19 measures impacted registration patterns in the first half of 2021, we can see that Registers of Scotland data for Q3 shows an increase in volumes by an average of 10% compared to 2019.  For the last quarter of 2021, October’s volumes were marginally lower than 2019 at 3% down, while November jumped to 21% higher than the same period of 2019, as the pre-Christmas rush began.  Data for December is yet to be published.

Richard Hepburn, Managing Director of Edinburgh-based Millar & Bryce – a Landmark Information Group business – said, “It’s really interesting to look at the trends for 2021 and see that, overall, the market has begun to return to more ‘anticipated’ levels, following the volatility of the 2020 and early 2021 Covid impacted market.  Sold Subject to Missives, Completions and Registered Sales all finished the year up when compared to pre-pandemic trends; the only exception to this is with new Listings, where overall we have seen a reduction in the supply.

“Agents will be working hard in early 2022 to demonstrate the benefits of the ‘sellers market’ and higher property values that we are currently seeing in order to encourage more people to market their homes, creating more certainty for 2022.”

Click here to view the report.

The data used in the Scottish Property Trends Report is extracted from Landmark Information Group’s business entities, including Millar & Bryce and Landmark Valuation Services, which have touchpoints across the entire Scottish market transaction pipeline, and offers a truly unified view of the market.  Data from Registers of Scotland has also been assessed as part of this report.

For more information on Landmark Information Group, telephone 0131 556 1313, or visit Landmark.


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