By Legal Futures Associate Landmark Information Group
Landmark Information Group, the leading provider of information to the UK property market, has today announced the launch of a new Property Trends Report for Scotland, which provides cross-market trend analysis for the residential property market pipeline in Scotland – spanning account transaction movements from estate agency to legal conveyancing sectors.
The extraction of data trends from Landmark Information Group’s various business entities has touchpoints across the whole UK property market transaction pipeline. The edition assesses 2021 market trends versus 2020 and 2019 and offers a truly unified view of the Scottish property market in what has been exceptional circumstances.
In addition to the market bounce post ending of lockdown restrictions, the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) incentive, where the threshold was temporarily increased from £145,000 to £250,000 between July 2020 and 31st March 2021, has evidently created a stimulus. New listings between October to December 2020 exceeded 2019 volumes each month – with October at +23%, November at +9% and December +14%.
Demand is however currently outpacing supply with new property listings, on average, 8% down between January-September 2021 when compared to 2019 data.
Sold subject to missives
Between January and September 2021, Sold Subject to Missives activity level is up, on average, by 5% compared to 2019. The data shows no significant spike in the run-up to the LBTT relief deadline at end March 2021, which was 12% above 2019 levels. Within the last 12-month period, the largest increase in this activity appeared to take place between October – December 2020, when Legal Report volumes reported an average increase of 33% versus 2019.
During the last 12-months, Completions have continuously fluctuated – for example between October 2020 to January 2021, completion data reported 14% higher than 2019 data, before dropping to 6% lower than 2019 figures when comparing February’s volumes. During the last quarter, July reported a 8% drop and August a 7% decrease versus the same months in 2019, however September saw a jump up of 18% compared to September 2019. This shows the challenging market that legal professionals have had to resource, as volumes have ebbed and flowed.
When reviewing the Registers of Scotland data, three months following the introduction of LBTT incentive, the Registered Sales data reflects the increased transaction volumes that residential conveyancers were processing. Data between October 2020 and March 2021 recorded a 37% increase on 2019 data across the same period – however when looking specifically at March, 2021 recorded transactions volumes 92% higher than March 2019.
Emergency Covid-19 measures, introduced as a result of Registers of Scotland being unable to operate normally, impacted registered sales patterns. Solicitors had dispensation under the emergency measures to delay administration relating to final registration of transactions without jeopardising either ownership or lender protections. As a result, the significant spike in registered sales seen in Q1 reflects these transactions being processed.
The second and third quarters of 2021 have begun to return to a far more normal picture however, with Registered Sales data recording an average 5% increase between April and August, compared to 2019.
Commenting on the findings of the launch edition, Simon Brown, CEO of Landmark Information Group said, “We are delighted to launch the Scottish Property Trends Report, which provides a clear analysis of the residential property market and how it continues to fare in these unusual times. For the first edition, we have looked broadly across the last 12-months to chart how the residential market in Scotland has navigated its way through the various challenges.
“What is apparent is that while the overall market is showing less volatility, with many volumes returning towards 2019 levels, we are seeing evidence of potentially challenging conditions, such as a reduction in the supply of new listings to the market. This has the potential to create a pressure on the market as we head towards 2022, and we will watch this unfold with interest.”
Richard Hepburn, Managing Director of Millar & Bryce – a Landmark Information Group business – said, “Following a year of peaks and troughs during 2020, which saw the property market temporarily close, reopen and then reap the benefits of the Scottish Government’s LBTT taxation initiative, the last two quarters have since shown a greater deal of stability. Current volume data is more akin to that of 2019, although we are monitoring what will happen as we approach the pre-Christmas period, which is traditionally a deadline that many people aim for when looking to complete on a house sale.”
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 touch-points 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.
To view the report visit: www.landmark.co.uk/news-insights/industry-reports/.
For more information on Landmark Information Group, telephone 0131 556 1313, or visit www.landmark.co.uk.