Boom or Bust?
Musings by Ron Hastings on current trends in the property market.
Property Market has been the talk of the town and while not exactly
"news" hardly a day goes by without another reworking
of the same old story which generally turns out to be no more than
further spin and speculation. Television has captivated the viewing
public with a rash of property related programmes advising how to
make a quick buck (or not) on the property ladder, location etc.,
the latest breed of house doctors, designers and gurus and even
a reality show where contestants build a "dream house"
for the benefit only of the ultimate winners-probably the TV company!
the speculation is to be believed it may soon be over with boom
turning to bust but has anything really changed? The same was said
a few years ago and the prophets of doom have returned again with
their warnings that the end is nigh-a bit like predicting death
it is bound to happen if you say it often enough! But has anything
really changed or is it just yet more talk and speculation?
popularity of investment in property has increased in recent years
with falling stock markets and under performing pension funds making
it appear a safe haven. But will this continue to be the case? While
demand outstrips supply there will be an upward pressure on price.
There are few signs of any change on that front, with developers
keen to push the boundaries and planners and housing strategists
agreeing there is unmet need. The Borders is one of the few areas
where the population has risen and there is some evidence that the
successful promotion of the Scottish Borders as a place to live
and the comparatively low cost of housing have had a dramatic effect
on house prices. But will it all end in tears? There is cause for
confidence in future growth in the Borders with its relatively low
housing density, continuing inward movement from outwith the area
particularly the trickle down effect of the overheated and overcrowded
improved transport links, including the Waverley line rail project,
has contributed the principal factor affecting prices remains the
relocators bringing an inflow of funds, which has in turn had a
knock-on effect with substantial rises being experienced throughout
the market, particularly in mid-range properties from £75,000
to £150,000. This has impacted on local buyers and while it
has been easier to move up the ladder with good prices being achieved
at the lower end there is a danger of failing groups such as first
time buyers who have been competing with the buy to let market but
lose out unless they can find funds on top of the valuation, which
is often below the selling price, which restricts the amount that
can be borrowed.
there is no doubt there are particular problem areas there are grounds
for optimism and the demand for property seems likely to continue.
It should however be kept in mind that at the end of the day buying
a house is likely to be the most important transaction you will
enter into, so take good advice at the earliest opportunity, consult
a property expert and consider your options.