Aberdeen housing market suffers dramatic decline in sales over lockdown

Aberdeen housing market suffers dramatic decline in sales over lockdown

The housing market in Aberdeen suffered a dramatic fall in sales during lockdown, according to a new report.

Figures from the Aberdeen Solicitors’ Property Centre (ASPC) report – produced with Aberdeen University Business School’s Centre for Real Estate Research – indicate that property sales were 64 per cent lower than the same period last year.

Flat deals were the worst affected, with a decline of 69 per cent year-on-year, while semi-detached houses saw a drop of 61 per cent during the same period. Detached sales declined by 63 per cent.

John MacRae, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ASPC said: “We knew that the government strategy of lockdown was going to have severe effects for nearly all areas of business; the latest report shows just how dramatic that has been. Compared to the same period in 2019, sales fell by 64 per cent. Given the severity of the lockdown provisions this should not be regarded as unexpected. Flats were most affected with a drop in volume of 69 per cent year on year.

“Semi detached houses saw a drop of 61 per cent year on year. Detached houses saw a drop of 63 per cent year on year. Unsurprisingly, this was matched, during the second quarter, with an even more severe drop in properties coming to market. In the early part of lockdown, new insertions on ASPC dropped almost to zero. Since then, however, things progressed and since the easing of lockdown, insertions have risen, quickly, to near normal levels. This activity appears to be matched by sales, although we have to bear in mind that sales were already at lower levels before lockdown.”

He added: “One interesting factor is that sales that are taking place are taking place, generally, at a price level slightly below asking price. This may be a good time to buy.

“The inferences to be drawn, if any, from the second quarter are subject to great caution. The low activity, resulting in reduced numbers of transactions, means it would be unwise to reach any fixed view of the current market. The welcome return to more “normal” activity, shown in the last four weeks, needs to continue for the remainder of the year, before we can say we seem to be over the worst.”

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