2011 - Year in review
The first snows have fallen and the Christmas markets have returned to Princes Street which can only mean that another year has flown by already. Excitingly, this means it's time for our always eagerly anticipated Year in Review where we recap some of the major (and not so major) events from the last 12 months before looking ahead to what the coming year has in store. Fans of the Gregorian calendar will be delighted to know we start our review with.....
January, and the year started off on a sour note for consumers with VAT rising to 20%. With talk these days focussed on who could leave, it's strange to think the year actually started with another country joining the Euro - Estonia swelling the ranks to 17. January was also a big month for British cinema with the release of The King's Speech which went on to do terribly well at the Oscars.
Of course peaks of cinematic excellence were not truly scaled until February with the release of Gnomeo and Juliet (in 3D!!) - a film which finally satisfied overwhelming public demand to see Jason Statham and Ozzy Osbourne do Shakespeare.
Locally, March saw the average house price in Edinburgh rise by a whopping £77 annually. Overall the trend for the year was for prices to ease back to 2009 levels in most areas, although smaller properties tended to see larger falls in value.
By April most of the nation was gripped by royal wedding fever with 25 million people tuning in to watch the ceremony. That's rather more than turned out in the Alternative Vote referendum in May when those who did vote opted to keep the current first-past-the-post system.
June saw ESPC's new and improved website made available to the public for the first time as it entered the beta testing phase of development. There was big news in the property market as well with the average price of a one-bed flat in Leith Walk and Easter Road dipping below £100,000 for the first time since 2006.
July was a big month for Edinburgh. Not only did the city get its own royal wedding, it also played host to the annual Swamp Soccer World Cup where Hockering FC and Penza Centre were crowned champions after two gruelling days of competition.
August brought news that mobile internet usage was reaching 50% in the UK. Looking at the rate at which traffic to ESPC's mobile site and iPhone app is growing we can certainly confirm more and more people are using their phones to find their next home. To help this growing audience in their quest we enabled video content on our mobile site in October.
September saw CERN scientists report that the speed of light had been broken resulting in widespread amazement and apparently causing the month to travel through time until after October in this review.
Of course the biggest technology news of the year did not arrive until November when we made the big switchover to the new espc.com which makes it even easier to find your ideal home in Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife. Also in November, pandas!
All of which brings us nicely to December. Though the month is not yet over we've already seen two historical votes the impact of which will be felt for years to come. Not only did the UK veto a proposed EU treaty but Little Mix became the first group to win X Factor earning them the right to vie for the Christmas number one with a cover version of a song that isn't the least bit Christmassy.
All told, it's been a hectic year and 2012 seems set to bring more of the same. The property market will remain challenging but at ESPC we've got lots planned to help bring buyers and sellers together. Our George Street showroom reopens in January after receiving a makeover, we'll be hosting more events to help people get on the property ladder and we've a host of improvements planned for both our mobile and desktop website.
All that and more awaits us, but until then a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at ESPC.