Given that Signature Property Finance operates right across the mainland UK, with offices in Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London, it’s important we understand the local property markets and react accordingly.
As Wales just emerges from lockdown, England goes in and Scotland settles into a 5-tier approach to restrictions, the property markets in the regions are all reacting differently. But thankfully, unlike the Spring, the markets remain open for business, following assurances from Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
This approach is also reflected in guidance from the Scottish Government, which remains committed to the sector remaining open, whilst reinforcing the importance of physical distancing and encouraging virtual property viewings, with as much of the buying process as possible done online.
And this commitment to the market in Scotland is delivering results if the latest figures from the ESPC October 2020 House Price Report are anything to go by
Figures highlight buoyant market in Edinburgh and beyond
In November, ESPC.com reported in the three months to October 2020 the average property selling price in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders was up almost 8% at £271K compared to the same period in 2019.
The typical period for properties to be placed under offer in the same areas, over the same period shortened from 21 days last year to just 18 days now, showing perhaps an increased desire for moving home, with the number of homes coming on to the market also rising by 44.4%.
Where we have our Scotland office in Edinburgh, the average property selling price rose by 6.2% year-on-year to almost £290k, with three-bedroom houses in Liberton and Gilmerton enjoying the steepest rise at 18.5% in average property selling price.
However, two bedroom flats in New Town and West End saw a year-on-year decrease of almost 15% in average property selling price, which just goes to show that once again, even in a fast rising market opportunities for property professionals will appear.
Which is very much the case for our business, with client interest in bridging loans, development finance and particularly refurbishment loans, mirroring the property sectors growth in the months since the lockdown restrictions were eased in Scotland.
Lending through lockdown proves worth second time around
Signature implemented remote working policies in the Spring to ensure we were able to complete deals that were in the pipeline when the lockdown struck and continue to support brokers and developers as they sought to take advantage of the opportunities on offer.
We are adopting the same approach to lending in this lockdown and will follow through on deals with the terms agreed at the outset – no nasty surprises as the drawdown gets closer is the Signature way.
It’s definitely an attitude paying dividends for our business, with our lending figures reflecting buoyancy of the property market in general and the refurbishment and development activities in particular.
In the three months August to October 2020, our lending was 227% higher than the same period last year and the number of deals we completed doubled in the same period.
Perhaps highlighting the rising property prices across Scotland, particularly in Edinburgh, the average loan size increased by more than 60% too, which not only highlights the strength of the market, but the wisdom of Signature’s decision to continuing supporting brokers and developers through the lockdown.
I’m confident the tiered restriction approach will again offer opportunities for property professionals to take advantage of, as long as they can access funding to purchase, refurbish and develop property, knowing the terms agreed will be adhered to throughout – and that’s where we excel.
The message is, Signature is open for business and we’re ready to lend, so if you have a deal we should consider, please get in touch and we’ll explain how our short-term property finance products fit the bill.