House Prices fall for the first time in a year
· Average Scottish house price drops 0.2% in August, as over half the country sees price falls
· But strongest August in 7 years for house sales, despite monthly dip ahead of referendum
· New peak prices reached in East Lothian and Aberdeen City, while values drop in Edinburgh
Commentary on the Scottish Index
Gordon Fowlis, Regional Managing Director of Your Move, comments: “The powerful spell of growth cast over the Scottish property market was broken in August, as house prices fell for first time in a year. At a time when property values across the rest of the UK were continuing to grow, Scotland moved against the grain and average house prices dropped across more than half the country – including Edinburgh, Aberdeenshire, South Lanarkshire, East Dunbartonshire and Fife.
“It’s been an unpredictable and momentous few months in Scotland’s history. In August, uncertainty was still rife over the outcome of the independence referendum, and this hindered the pace of activity in the housing market. Sales in August were 8% below the typical seasonal trend, as sellers shirked the market and buyers postponed purchase decisions until the dust settled. This trend appears more acute at the top tiers of the market, where there were bigger investments at stake, and there was an 11% drop in the number of homes sold across Scotland for over £1 million between July and August. But this didn’t poison the longer-term health of the market, and this was the strongest August for house sales since 2007.”
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First Time Buyer Online Survey Winners:
Your Move are delight to announce that the winners of our First Time Buyer Survey Competition between December 2013 and July 2014.
The following people were selected at random and received M&S vouchers:
Mr Miguel Casanova
Ms Cheryl Estoy
Mr Simon Ore
Landlord Sentiment Survey
Your Move is also pleased to announce the winner of our Landlord Survey in December 2013 was Mr Robert Doubtfire, who also received M&S vouchers.
Guess the Price of the Property
Your Move is delighted to announce that the winners of our ‘Guess the Price of the Property’ competition from our newsletter were:
Mrs K North who won a bottle of champagne, and Mrs V Wilson who received vouchers.
We have also contacted the winner for the First Time Buyer Survey in July and Guess the Price of the Property for June.
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The new university term has started and although many students are just getting settled into university halls, it won’t be long until they have to start finding somewhere to live for the next academic year. That’s why Your Move has pulled together a handy guide to renting for students (and parents).
Here are our top tips for navigating a student rental market for the first time.
- Can you afford the accommodation? You will need to think how much the rent is and if it’s PPW (price you pay per week) or PCM (the price you pay per calendar month), and what is included in the rent?
- Is it just the room in the house, or does it include other bills? In a house share you usually have to pay the household bills on top of your rent (something you might not have had to think about in halls) – this will probably include gas, water, electricity, TV licence and Wi-Fi (remember if you are a full time student you are exempt from paying council tax). These items all need to be budgeted in to your weekly or monthly allowance, there is no point living in fabulous accommodation if you cannot afford it.
- How far is your new accommodation from the university? If you have to travel in to university every day think how much this will cost per week, as you will need to include this in your budget.
- Does the accommodation have adequate space? Will your room have space for everything you need? A desk, computer, files, books, clothes and any other belongings e.g. skate board, guitar etc.
- Will you need to think about furniture? Is the property furnished or will you need to provide your own?
Who is responsible for the management of your property?
- If you are renting your property through a lettings agent, find out whether you deal with the lettings agent or landlord if something needs repairing. This information will usually be in your welcome letter, if not speak to the lettings agent to find out.
- Always check that there is a gas safety record for your house; your lettings agent should have this.
- Carbon monoxide detectors are not legally required but are recommended.
- Smoke alarms and electrical certificates are not legally required (unless the house is a House in Multiple Occupation*) but are recommended. If the house is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), there should also be fire doors and fire blankets and you should check with your lettings agent that the landlord has a licence to run an HMO.
- Check that your property has good, well-fitting locks on the front and back doors and windows that work. Don’t forget that you will need to get your belongings insured.
Moving in/out and finance
- When moving in, think ahead to when you will be moving out and importantly getting your deposit back for next year/beer money. If you receive an inventory, make sure you check it thoroughly and return it to your landlord or lettings agents with any comments and photos. You cannot be charged for any damage or missing items if your landlord or lettings agent doesn’t provide an inventory.
- If your tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, it is a legal requirement that your security deposit is lodged in a tenancy deposit scheme (there are three different schemes) and you should receive specific scheme information, a copy of the registration certificate and a scheme leaflet – keep these!
- You will also need either a guarantor, who is in full employment in the UK or you will need to pay your rent in advance.
Other than that enjoy your next couple of years at university, hopefully this guide will help you with your search for suitable accommodation, so you can just focus on your studying.
(*) HMO = at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than one household and you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants
(**) Calls may be recorded and/or monitored for training and/or data protection purposes
Mind the gap: London and South East skew average house prices by record £89,000
· Overall average house price now £274,302 – but only £185,496 omitting London and the South East
· Represents the biggest price disparity since 1995 due to cooling house prices in regions
· Slowdown outside of London and the South East as annual rise drops to 4.3%
· Contrasts with average house price growth of 10.7% in past year across all of England & Wales
David Newnes, Director of Your Move estate agents, comments: “A game of two halves is being played out in the UK property market. In terms of average house price growth, a gap has developed between the South East corner and the rest of the country. If we exclude the key players of London and the South East from the game, a whole different playing field is revealed.
“House prices across the remaining parts of England and Wales have only increased 4.3% in the past year, or less than half of the overall measure of 10.7% when we include London and the South East. In absolute terms the difference would seem to add £88,806 to the average price tag for a home across England and Wales – the highest absolute difference since 1995.
David Newnes continues: “There is also much more to be said beyond the headlines for London. The annual rate of growth in London house prices is the fastest witnessed since 2000. Most recently we’re seeing asking prices in the capital start to be reined in, which will apply the brakes on annual house price inflation as the market steadies.
"What’s happening in London may be eye-catching, but it is akin to looking through a kaleidoscope – and skews any view of the current total housing landscape. Peeling back the regional layers gives a much more informed view of the core reality of the current housing market. With evidence of London starting to cool off after strong growth earlier in the year, it is critical that the underlying momentum that has stimulated much needed increased volume in the rest of the market is allowed freedom to keep moving, whilst any price rises are kept steady and under control.”
Read the full index