2015 year in review

We take a look back at what's been happening in 2015 and some of our achievements at ESPC.

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It’s that time of year again when the Christmas markets are in full swing, and Edinburgh is illuminated with just about as many lights in the city centre as the X Factor final. So now is the perfect time to look back at the highlights of 2015, and our plethora of achievements at ESPC.

The property market in Scotland had a busy time of it at the start of the year after the Scottish Government announced in 2014 a new tax, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), would replace Stamp Duty from April 1st 2015. This meant people looking to buy properties over £300,000 were in a rush to buy at the start of the year, and the number of new listings in January over this asking price was more than twice as high as the first month of 2014.

In February we continued to see a surge in higher-end properties coming to market as a result of LBTT, and the number of new properties marketed in February with an asking price of over £300,000 was 53% more than February 2014.

On a March morning we stood out on the streets to observe the solar eclipse, and despite the clouds which had darkened the sky anyway, it was fascinating.

Land and Building Transaction Tax was introduced on April 1st, which was good news for those looking to buy a property under £145,000 because they now didn’t have to pay tax.

April was also a great month for ESPC as we moved into our new showroom. It wasn’t too far along George Street from the old showroom to carry the removal boxes, and the space allows for more flexibility to help people find their dream property. It was officially opened in May, with the help of Radio Forth’s Boogie and Arlene.

This month we celebrated the birth of a royal baby, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, with three names that were bookies favourites. What wasn’t as well predicted in May was the election result that took many people by surprise, with the Conservatives sweeping to victory and Labour suffering one of its largest defeats.

At ESPC we continued to grow, with the launch of our school catchment search function. This meant that people could now search properties that fall under the catchment area of a particular school – perfect for families who are looking to buy a new place.

Whether Greece would be bailed out after defaulting on payments was the hot debate of June and July, as we waited to find out if it could continue to be part of the Eurozone.

July was a month of golf with the Open at St Andrews and the Scottish Open at Gullane. At ESPC we teamed up with Royal Blind, who we named as our chosen charity of the year.

In August the festival was once again in full swing, and while the property market typically quietens down over the summer holidays as people sun themselves abroad, at ESPC we were working on new developments for the website which we plan to launch next year!

At the start of September Libby Clegg came to visit us and the Royal Blind school, as we launched our support of Royal Blind to raise money to fund special equipment for the school.

We had Rugby World Cup fever in October when Scotland made it to the quarter-finals, but was knocked out by Australia following a last-minute penalty.

The wildly anticipated Spectre hit cinemas in November, and Edinburgh was also bracing itself for an arrival from Hollywood, when George Clooney presented at the Scottish Business Awards. At ESPC we were very pleased to have been nominated in the innovation category for our school catchment feature, however we missed out on a congratulatory handshake (or kiss on the cheek) from Mr Clooney.

The latest help-to-buy initiative was launched on the first of December, with an ISA offering a 25% top up from the government on your savings. This seems to be a positive step if you are a first time buyer looking to get onto the property market.

As you can see it’s been a busy year for us at ESPC, and we’ve got lots more planned for 2016. Look out for more events for landlords and first time buyers, the launch of our new App and past sales data available on our website.

All that’s left is to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at ESPC.