Derek Brien, Head of Estate Agency at VMH Solicitors, looks back at 2020 and considers what will happen to the local property market in 2021.

Edinburgh in winter

After a fairly standard start to 2020, lockdown in late March turned all of our lives (and the property market) upside down and when restrictions were lifted on 29th June, four months’ worth of properties came to the market in one go!

I have never experienced a busier market and it was massively encouraging to see that there was still desire from buyers and sellers to move. Demand continued right through to November, when things started to cool off for the traditionally quieter run up to Christmas.

So, what will 2021 bring? It’s difficult to predict, particularly in light of the latest lockdown restrictions, but here are some of my thoughts...

Mortgage lenders

Lenders are starting to reintroduce their higher loan-to-value products once again and interest rates are still attractively low, which may encourage buyers.

First Home Fund

The First Home Fund is starting up again in 2021 so that should stimulate the lower end of the market, which, in turn, will have a knock-on effect for second, third and fourth time buyers/sellers and beyond.


The current Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT) incentive ends on 31st March, so that may mean a surge in early year activity so buyers can be in their new homes by the end of the first quarter to take advantage of the saving.

Will this incentive be extended? I guess that depends on the Scottish Government and whether they feel it’s important to continue it in order to encourage demand from buyers.


One big unknown is the Brexit effect and how this might impact on the market, if at all.

Resilience of the Edinburgh property market

The Edinburgh property market has always proven to be fairly resilient and, whilst there may need to be an adjustment in sellers’ expectations in the event of an economic downturn, good quality properties in good locations will always attract strong interest.

Find out more about VMH Solicitors

Find out more about VMH Solicitors by contacting the team on 0131 622 2626.

ESPC magazine

This article appeared in the January 2021 issue of the ESPC magazine. Find out more about the ESPC magazine and read the latest issue online.

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