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Scottish housing market remains ‘stable and reliable’

There was a sharp rise in the number of property transactions north of the border in March, as demand for property continued to grow, fresh figures reveal.

Monthly transactions across Scotland increased by 46% in March, more than double the 18% growth seen across England, research by Nested shows.

The online estate agent analysed ONS Transaction Data over the last five years and found that this is a long term quarterly trend, with the Scottish market consistently ahead when it comes to transaction levels, making it “more stable and reliable” than England over the last five years and his trend is set to continue

Matt Robinson, CEO of Nested, commented: “Big events like the EU referendum and stamp duty reform have less of an impact on the number of transactions north of the border than they do here. Why? Because in Scotland your offer is legally binding once accepted, and this provides the certainty and security that buyers are crying out for.

“In England however, the repercussions of broken property chains are exacerbated by a slowing housing market. The result is an inefficient market which lags behind Scotland even with all macro factors considered equal.”

In Scotland, properties are withdrawn from the market once contract negotiations are underway. Because an offer is effectively legally binding, gazumping is incredibly rare so sales are rarely aborted.

In contrast, England has a sale fall through rate of just over 28% on average, which costs would-be buyers close to £3,000 each, and gazumping and gazundering are common in the property market.

Robinson added: “The reality is that the housing market in England is hopelessly inefficient – ‘broken’ by the government’s own admission. People are losing out on their dream home because our system is designed to pit buyers against each other, and an offer is worth nothing until a contract is signed which typically happens weeks after the property is taken off the market.

“It’s frustrating that politicians have failed to learn from the success of Scotland’s housing market. Whichever party wins the election, the next government should review the whole system and give people the certainty and confidence they need to move onto and up the ladder.” 

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