New figures reveal house prices continue to fall in the Aberdeen, but property experts have noted “very encouraging” signs.
Almost all businesses and industries have taken a massive hit since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the UK in March, and the property market has been no different.
Aberdeen Solicitors’ Property Centre Limited (ASPC), in cooperation with Aberdeen University Business School’s Centre for Real Estate Research, has published the latest statistics for the third quarter of 2020 relating to the housing market in Aberdeen.
And despite house prices continuing to fall in the city, the field has picked up in other ways in the latest quarter, becoming more active since the easing of lockdown restrictions.
The report states quarterly house prices in Aberdeen city and suburbs are down 1%, while the annual house price change in the area is -0.7%.
Over the last five years, the annualised house price change for the city and suburbs is -4.8%.
John MacRae, chairman of the board of directors of ASPC, said: “The report released by the Centre for Real Estate Research at the University of Aberdeen Business School, for the third quarter of the year follows on from the severe consequences of lockdown disclosed in the report for the second quarter.
“Lockdown, for most of us, started on March 23. The report for the second quarter disclosed a sharp drop in the number of sales – reducing by a third.
“Even more severe was the dislocation to numbers of properties coming on to the market; in some cases, the drop was as severe as near 100% reduction.
“Prior to lockdown, prices held up reasonably well, with some positive markers. This bore out our members’ experience that the market was beginning to become more active than it had been. The lockdown certainly changed that.
“Since the easing of lockdown, our market has staged a good recovery. Insertions are at high levels; website traffic is up and in the last few weeks sales have been increasing in numbers such that we are seeing figures not seen for some time.
“This is almost certainly down to the market making up for lost time, but it is very encouraging.
“Evidence of the increase in market activity can be found in website traffic for August (up 37% on August 2019 at 1.36 million sessions and an increase in active myASPC users to a new high of 30,566 at the end of September).
“Prices are maintaining a reasonable level. People are still doing deals at slightly below Home Report valuation, but there are instances of quick sales, closing dates and some deals at a touch over valuation.
“Presentation continues to be very important and a realistic expectation by sellers is also necessary.
“In recent weeks we have seen sales levels close to the same levels as insertions. That is very encouraging.”