Despite the reported doom and gloom of the property market, it has been a good year for the Scottish Solicitors Property Centres.

The UK housing market may be experiencing one of its most stagnant periods, but the Scottish housing market has seen over £2 billion worth of property sold since the start of 2011.

From the beginning of January to the end of June 2011 there were over 12,000 properties sold across Scotland through the network of Solicitors Property Centres (SPC) Scotland - with a total value in excess of two billion pounds.

Malcolm Cannon, chairman of SPC Scotland, and Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC) said: "This is a huge number of properties and a significant amount of money. These figures clearly indicate that the Scottish housing market is continuing to function."

Cannon continued; "It is the first time that these figures have been collated and they show the high value of property moving throughout the country. While there is no denying the levels are below those seen prior to the credit crunch, it's clear that there is sustained activity - especially where sellers are setting realistic asking prices and are open to negotiation.

"One factor helping the market is the Scottish approach of missives.  This places the solicitor at the heart of buying and selling property by creating a binding agreement between buyer and seller as early as possible once a price has been agreed. It prevents the long property chains experienced in other regional markets."

Of all the properties sold in Scotland through SPC Scotland, the ESPC handled over 25% of those, amounting to over 30% of the total value.  The ESPC covers the East Central Scotland geographic area.

Considering the way ahead, David Marshall business analyst at the ESPC commented: "It's a tough market for sellers just now as there are more properties for sale than you would normally see, and the number of people looking to buy is relatively low. Buyers have more

homes to choose from and are generally looking around to get value for money, so it's important for sellers to get the presentation and pricing of their home right."

Marshall continued: "Over the remainder of the year we should see a continuation of recent trends with the number of homes selling relatively unchanged, and prices around three to five per cent lower than at this stage last year. The market for quality family homes is likely to perform slightly better, whilst the sellers of smaller properties are likely to face the toughest conditions".

The ESPC provide a financial advisory service for clients. Money Management financial adviser Douglas Turnbull added; "A discussion that is becoming ever more common with clients is the one about the financial implications of falling property prices. Most clients cannot get past the idea that falling house prices are a negative thing, but that's not always the case. Of course it depends on their personal circumstances; their current level of borrowing and amount of equity in their home, but in many cases clients can use the current market

conditions to their benefit - especially those looking to upsize. Many clients could be missing an opportunity."