A Scottish property specialist has predicted UK residential property sales will hit over one million in 2023, despite current market uncertainty.
Peter Ryder, MD of Thorntons Property Services, also said stabilising interest rates combined with a high proportion of cash buyers would help ‘insulate’ Scotland from volatility south of the border.
His comments followed figures published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) which indicated that UK house prices have stalled after two years of growth.
Peter, who leads a team of more than 150 property professionals, said, “The property market in Scotland is less volatile regarding house price stalls and falls when compared to the south. Around 50% of all buyers are either cash buyers or take out mortgages of less than 50%. Even with the increase in rates they will still be able to afford to buy property.
“Just over a fifth, 22%, of buyers get mortgages between 50% and 75% loan to value while about a quarter – 26% – of buyers get mortgages between 75% to 90% loan to value.
“Rates are expected to settle around 4.5% to 5%. This is less than was expected a few weeks ago. All lending institutions are in a much stronger financial position compared to a decade ago and have money to lend.
“People still want to move – in 2008 during the last recession when banks were struggling to lend 800,000 clients still moved house. Offers above asking price are decreasing. This means some potential buyers who have left the market due to being outbid for the properties they were after will re-enter the market and try and secure a property around the Home Report value.
“There is still an imbalance between properties for sale and buyers. The market is currently in a period of readjusting, but we still have plenty of motivated buyers out there who will return to the market once the government have demonstrated they have the economy back under control.
“My prediction for 2023 is between one to 1.1 million UK house sales. This is down on this year’s figures, however, is still a lot higher than 2008, which is welcome news following the uncertainty that has affected the marketplace in recent months.”