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Spring is usually the time when many people, who want to move house, think about putting their property on the market and generally it is the start of a hectic time for conveyancing solicitors who prepare for the flurry of activity during the spring and summer months.

However, 2020 as we all know, has been a drastically different year to any that have come before even when it comes to buying or selling your property.

In March, the government halted the housing market by telling people to delay their home moves and to stop any viewings for new properties coming onto the market. Consequently, hundreds of people were left in a predicament of not knowing when (or even if) their property transaction would settle. Solicitors had to act quickly to try and get as many settlements “over the line” as they could, with the regulations and guidelines changing on a daily basis.

Ultimately, the property market came to almost a complete standstill and in April and May there were hardly any sales or purchases settling apart from “emergency” transactions. There was a real sense of uncertainty as to when the property market would pick up again however the demand from buyers and sellers began to rise even while the lockdown restrictions were in place. This demand became even more apparent when restrictions began to ease on 29th June 2020 evidenced by the increasing volume of viewing requests, Home Report downloads and property queries exceeding pre-COVID-19 levels.

The Scottish Government announced that Phase One of lockdown would include “preparing for the reopening of the housing market” and in the first three weeks of July 2020, the number of homes coming to market had increased by 29% compared to the same period last year. This has resulted in a very competitive market for properties situated all over Scotland. Locally, in Ayrshire, many properties have been selling at 5 to 10% above the Home Report value and the number of closing dates being set has dramatically increased in the last few months since restrictions lifted. In particular, it has been noted that there has been a surge of interest in Scottish homes from London buyers as the market reopens. Savills has stated that they have witnessed a 71% spike in the number of London buyers viewing properties in Scotland in May, compared to the start of the year. Many people are looking to buy larger properties with more room to work from home and access to garden/outside space.

To coincide with the ease of restrictions, the Scottish Government announced some measures to help support the Scottish property market. The first change was in relation the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax which means that this tax does not apply for any property purchases at £250,000 or less (previously set at £145,000). Further, the announcement of an additional £50 million investment into the First Home Fund to help first time buyers save a house deposit, by loaning them up to £25,000, has encouraged first time buyers to take a step onto the property ladder. In turn, these measures have assisted in boosting the property market at this uncertain time.

If you are thinking of selling your property then it is definitely a good time to put your property on the market and it will be interesting to see whether this high demand for property will continue into the winter months (which is typically a quieter time). Although the future of the Scottish property market is uncertain and will depend on whether any previous lockdown restrictions will be re-imposed, the next few months appear to be just as busy as those previous months since lockdown restrictions were lifted.

Contact our Property Lawyers at The McKinstry Company

If you have any questions for our Property Lawyers at The McKinstry Company please get in touch through our online contact form.

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Some of our happy clients
  • Really helpful and friendly always replied to calls and emails. Thank you very much for all your help and advice and hard work.

    Mr S, Auchinleck
  • First class throughout 100% better than last time we moved house and used a different firm. Always responded to promptly with appropriate detailed replies. First Class

    Mr N, Ayr
  • Thank you for the support during a difficult time.

    Mrs M, Ayr
  • Every email was timely and actioned quickly. Kirsty and Libby were exceptional to deal with. They kept me informed in a timely manner with the added complication of our sale being carried out whilst we are currently based in America.

  • My emails were always responded to in a timely manner no matter who I was dealing with. Thank you to Nat and Kirsty who helped throughout our move and during some difficult times when lock down was first announced! They have both been great.

    Miss K, Dalry
  • Everything was done extremely professionally.

    Mrs G, Ayr
  • Very happy with the way my case has been dealt with despite working restrictions due covid 19 - thank you. Calls & emails always responded to within reasonable timescale. Very impressed with lawyers and staff I have dealt with during current case and previous divorce case very friendly and efficient.

    Mrs H, Ayr
  • All very prompt, efficient, clear, friendly and personable. Not overwhelming with legal jargon. Many thanks for making the process of setting up a will so straightforward.

    Mrs D, Troon
  • We required our Wills to be amended and that was done without any problems whatsoever.

    Mrs F, Ayr
  • Very business-like and helpful

    Mr M, Ayr
  • I was very impressed with the professionalism shown by all members of staff I had any dealing with. All calls and emails were relevant to the sale of my flat. All questions I had were dealt with at the time. For any further legal matters I will certainly be using The McKinstry Company

    Mr H, Ayr
  • Excellent service most happy with attentiveness and customer service.

    Mr F, Condorrat
  • Nat & Libby efficiently dealt with every question I had.

    Mrs K, Ayr
  • Kirsty understood our weird schedule when we were often 8 hours behind UK time, and simplified things for us by liaising via email. She was extremely approachable and dependable. In Kirsty’s absence, Jodie and Nathaniel would step in and communicate with us, and were very helpful too.

    Mrs N, Ayr
  • Great service and always on hand to answer our questions. Prompt and efficient response.

    Mr H, Ferniegair
  • Questions and communication were answered promptly

    Mr W, Sinclairston
  • Speaking from my own personal experience I was perfectly happy with the service I received. Everything was done to my satisfaction.

    Mrs I, Largs
  • Very efficient, timely and very mannerly on the phone

    Mr McN, Mauchline
  • The service was superb.  Kirsty and team were extremely helpful.

    Mr and Mrs R, Ayr
  • First class service from start till finish. Always there to give help and advice.

    Mr R, Ayr
  • Great service and advice from a good professional company.

    Mr R, Kilmarnock
  • Excellent, very friendly and professional. I will be using you for all my property transactions in the future!

    Mrs S, Godstone
  • My case was handled sensitively and smoothly.

    Mr N, Ayr
  • Everyone concerned in the sale of our property was very efficient and kept us up to date with all happenings.

    D Ferguy, Cookstown
  • Great service.  Would recommend you to others.

    Mr S, Kirkmichael
  • Communication was always available when required. Made me feel confident throughout the process.

    Mr L, Ayr
  • Always replied or phoned back when I needed my questions answered.

    Miss McF, Patna
  • A very prompt and friendly service, a pleasure to deal with.

    Mr R, Aberdeen
  • Robert was very supportive.

    M Carruthers, Kilmarnock.
  • Great, Rebecca was very pleasant to deal with and went out of her way to help with our case

    S Everett, Kilbarchan
  • The solicitor / paralegal I was dealing with was very professional and performed to a high standard. I was very impressed.

    B Ferguson, Methil
  • Local firm, word of mouth good reports.

    K Rooney, Glasgow
  • All queries were dealt with in a prompt and professional manner and I was kept informed of progress as events developed. Thank you very much for making a difficult situation much easier to deal with.

    Mrs McG, Ayr
  • Communication via telephone and email was regular, prompt and comprehensive. All queries and questions were answered with no delays or problems. My experience with the McKinstry Company was pleasant and smooth.

    Mr McK, Ayr
  • My family and I received excellent service from everyone with whom we had contact. The service was of the highest standard and, as I have in the past, I will continue to recommend the company to anyone seeking legal assistance.

    Mrs S, Ayr
  • All emails and calls were dealt with promptly. Very impressed. Very very pleased with service.

    Mr and Mrs H, Hull
  • I enjoy the friendly atmosphere. Very professional.

    Mrs A, Ayr
  • Mr Honeyman was very professional and knowledgeable which made us feel reassured. Very happy with the service and if I needed a solicitor again I would get in touch.

    Mr B, Ardrossan
  • Prompt quick efficient communication.

    Mrs K, Cumnock
  • Ease of making appointments and timescale for completion of business all good.

    Mr & Mrs T, Maybole
  • Gave reassurance and comfort at a stressful time. I felt ten times better after our first meeting and support provided ultimately exceeded my desired outcome.

    Mr N, Saltcoats
  • The supportive way that the advice was provided along with the willingness to fit appointments in with our requirements

    Mr R, Ayr
  • The whole process was handled with upmost professionalism throughout.

    Mr McN, Kilwinning

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