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A Better Start for 2017

The new figures from the first quarter of 2017 have been released by the Aberdeen Solicitors’ Property Centre (ASPC) in conjunction with the University of Aberdeen and show a slight improvement from the end of 2016.   
From a personal perspective, the market has certainly felt busier since the turn of the year and this is reflected in the increase of 4% in sales from last quarter and 8% compared with the first quarter of 2016.  That said, prices are still dropping with the quarterly house price change for the City and its Suburbs showing a 2.2% drop.  The overall drop from the first quarter of 2016 to 2017 has been 9.6%.
Commenting on the figures, John MacRae, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ASPC said:-
“The first quarter figures for 2017 continue to show the effect of the background economic situation on our local housing market. The quarterly house price change in the City and Suburbs is a drop of 2.2%. There are some indications, however, that we are about to commence a slow recovery. Firstly, there is anecdotal evidence from member firms that more transactions are taking place and a feeling that the market reached bottom during 2016 and has, since about mid-2016, stabilised and, perhaps, slightly improved.
The anecdotal evidence from members is fortified by the volume of sales figures and, in the first quarter of 2017, sales volume increased by 4% compared to the last quarter of 2016 and, perhaps more significantly, increased by 8% compared with the volume of sales in the first quarter of 2016. Beyond our own local economic difficulties, colleagues in the rest of Scotland confirm that while their markets are reasonably buoyant, they are noticing a Brexit effect in that there is slightly less activity than they would expect. It seems that the general background, economic and political, both nationally and internationally, is slightly depressing confidence.
It will be interesting to see the second quarter’s figures because, if they continue the recent trend, we may start to feel some optimism that there is a slight, but steady, recovery taking place.”

Amy McKay, Associate based in our Aberdeen office