In this week's episode, Megan & Paul chat through the latest stats on the property market in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Scottish Borders.

Initially, they chat through the ESPC data for the last three months before having a wider discussion with Maurice Allan (Managing Director of Estate Agency at Lindsays) and Lyndsey Beckwith (Head of Estate Agency at Ralph Sayer). The chat covers property hotspots for buyers, landlords leaving the market and whether or not now is a good time to buy. 

Read our full September House Price Report here.

Listen to the episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, or watch the episode in full below. You can also scroll to the bottom of the page for our full episode transcription.

Episode Transcription

Megan: Hello and welcome back to the ESPC Property Show. Today we're starting things off a little bit differently. So Paul is in the hot seat.

Yeah, it feels odd. I'm normally sitting there.

Paul: I'm on the other side of the fence, well table.

Megan: So, later on in the episode, we will be joined by two of our solicitor estate agent member firms, Maurice and Lyndsey will be here.

But for now, we just wanted to chat through our, , September house price report. So that kind of covers quarter three, which is what we're going to chat with Maurice and Lyndsey about the quarter three of 2023. But yeah, Paul, I just wanted to chat through, you know, what we're seeing on ESPC side and more of our internal data just for the listeners.

So we have seen the average selling price drop. For the last three months, it's down 5%. I don't know if you want to chat through.

Paul: Yeah, it's a good place to start. As we said, often it's the national obsession. And, um, yes, for the first time, well, not the first time, but certainly the most significant reduction.

 I think part of this is down to the type of properties that are selling at the moment. And part of that is also being influenced by the type of properties coming to market. So what we've seen is a lot more listings at the lower level, if 200, 000 is the lower level, but certainly there's been, a bit of an exodus from the lettings market.

So more properties that were previously rented out coming to market because there's been changes in legislation, particularly short term lets with, , you know, the changes that are around Airbnb, et cetera. So a lot of those properties have come to market, but they have sold. Um, but what it's meant is that we've sold less of the more expensive properties and more of the sort of lower price properties and as a consequence, we have seen a reduction in the average house price. Safe to say as well, you know, year on year, I think we are now starting to see the impact of the interest rate rises. You know, we've always talked about a lag and that has has an impact, I think, on affordability and what people can afford to buy.

No real surprise to see that we're selling less at the very, very high end and more at the lower end. You could argue it's, it's a market which is swinging more back to first time buyers as well, which, as we discuss every time, is no bad thing.

Megan: Yeah, and I think, um, hopefully, you know, we've passed that deadline for the short term lets, um, permits, licensing that Edinburgh has brought in.

So we're maybe less likely to see those short term lets come to market that burst has probably come.

Paul: Absolutely. I think that's what's happened. You know, we had this as I say, if you look at peaks and troughs of the market, sometimes it's because something external has influenced the market very quickly.

And that's what we've seen quite a bit of. It is quite unique to just the Edinburgh City centre. Particularly, we can evidence that on some of the statistics where we've seen a real swing in prices, but it's just , as I say it's just the more volume of low price property selling.

Megan: Yeah, so that's sometimes where the average selling price can be a bit tricky, but I guess maybe a bit more of a fairer metric would be the percentage of house, house, home report valuation achieved because that's a bit less.

Paul: It's more of a guide, isn't it? Yeah. You know, let's be honest here, it's not what it was last year.

Megan: No.

Paul: Again, we talk about all we talk about swings and roundabouts. If you're buying and you're selling, it's ultimately no bad thing, particularly if you move them up market, you're probably going to buy yourself a better bargain than you were going to get last year.

Um, so 4. 4 percentage points down last year, average, uh, uh, Property now achieving four out of five, which even home reports and the premium is 103. 9 percent of the home report. So premium is still being paid, but we've not, we're not seeing that frenzy of offers over and we're getting 10, 15, 20 percent over, um, the, um, the home report value.

We are in some cases, um, that's, you know, this is an average, so we've got some higher, some lower, um, but overall, as I say things have settled a little bit and we're going to come on later and we'll talk about pricing strategy and why pricing is key, really.

Megan: Yeah, well, I was just going to bring that up right now, Paul, actually.

I think, um, Um, we are, we obviously are very passionate as well about, um, solicitor estate agent. Those who are, who are our member firms are, and it's important that you see the right expert, when you are selling your property so that they can work with you on the correct pricing strategy, especially in a market like, like this.

Paul: Yeah. And I think if you're buying or you're selling, I think it's, it's, it's absolutely imperative at the moment. No one wants to undersell a property and equally no one wants to overpay on the one that they're buying really. And I think we're, we're, I think ESPC solicitor's data and score over independence is just access to data.

Um, the registers of Scotland, every house seller completes in Scotland is ultimately registered. So you can see what price it was bought or sold on the registered site. Um, but that's looking back the way that data is four, five, potentially six months out of date. It's sales, which were agreed a lot earlier in the year.

So if you want really, you know what's going on right now, you have to talk to the people in the market on a daily basis. And those people are your solicitor estate agents that are accepting offers on behalf of sellers. And they're also making offers on behalf of, you know, of their seller who's buying.

So they know on a daily basis, what's happening. And they've also got access to ESPC's data, which is again, is, is almost in real time, so they can see exactly what prices properties are selling for. So. I would say this, wouldn't I? But I absolutely believe this, that, you know, solicitor estate agents just have that finger on the pulse and have access to data that puts them in a unique position to take a real helicopter view of the market and to ensure you, you have a selling at the right price or ultimately you're buying at the right price as well.

Megan: We just wanted to give, yeah, a little bit of a a preamble to the episode with, um, Maurice and Lyndsey, using our own stats. Because, yeah, as you say, they are, they're real time stats, almost, looking at the last three months. These are, these are much more up to date than the Registers of Scotland.

Paul: Yeah, definitely.

And I think what we should get from the two guys today, I think we'd be really interested to get some real life stories as well. I know Maurice is going to talk to us about his experience of dealing with some landlords who bringing properties to market. And we'll, we'll hear from Lyndsey as well.

So it'll be a good episode that will bring the numbers to life, because at the end of the day, numbers are what they are. You can manipulate the data in any way. So it will be good to get a, a good coal face view on what's really happening out there.

Megan: Yeah. And as you say, there are of course anecdotes that, of people who are completely, you know, going over and above our stats.

Paul: I mean, one of the most viewed properties just the other day there, it's in Joppa. Not far from your neck of the woods, isn't it? It was the most viewed, it had a phenomenal amount of views and home reports and booking requests and everything else. You know something like that's just going to fly off the shelf.

So, you know, the right property at the right price is still going to attract a significant premium and probably be a bidding frenzy for it. Yeah. But that... I wouldn't say it's the exception, but there's less of them than there were in the last couple of years, for sure. And there's more choice. I mean, there's 43. 5 percent more stock available this year than there was last year. So, you know, more choice means that people can take their time a little. They can pick and choose. There's two up and a road, so they can take a pick of which one's going to accept their offer, etc. So all these, all these factors, you know, have a play in the market.

Megan: Yeah. And likewise, the time to sell is, well, it's slower than last year, but last year was 14 days, which is. Very fast. Um, it's 20 days. So that's still really good.

Paul: Yeah, yeah. And I think the stat which gets overlooked is we don't actually report this stats. Um, certainly, I mean, we record it, but we don't publicly report it is the, um, sales that fall through because it's all well and good agreeing to sale, but ultimately it has to stick.

You know, you have to get to missives concluded and ultimately get to the, you know, entry date and move in. Um, and I think certainly if you take a deeper dive into those statistics, what's really, really interesting is the solicitor estate agency model. The fall through is so much lower than it is UK average, which is predominantly estate agents where something like - eye watering - 30 percent of sales UK fall through.

So you agree sales and ultimately they fall through because there are chains and there are many other reasons. And I think one of the reasons is Solicitor Estate agent is involved in not only the sale, but they're also involved with the purchase. So that they're just a lot closer to the transaction.

And there are times when these transactions do need that TLC, they need communication. They need somebody who's going to hold this thing together really. And I think in a market like we're in at the moment. You know, there is a likelihood that if buyers get a bit twitchy, the sale can fall through and that results in all the other sales falling through.

So yeah, big difference, you know, huge difference there. Yeah.

Megan: And hopefully the good news as well, uh, the interest rates have been paused by the Bank of England. I know. Because I'm personally trying to sort my own mortgage out just now, the rates are starting, the products are starting to come in a bit lower.

Paul: Not sub 4 but sub 5 we're seeing now. Um, I think certainly the view there was the Bank of England had baked in, sorry not the Bank of England, the lenders had maybe baked in a 0. 25 percent rise, which didn't come. Um, the Bank of England wanted to pause things, take a wait and see. You know, the economy's pretty fragile and I think if they go... Too hard. Potentially we tip into a quite sharp recession, really, so that they're trying to balance things. And I think so reading the minutes, you know, it was clearly quite a close call, you know, in terms of the votes and we review again in November. We'll see. You know, we might see another rise. They may again take a view to go a little bit longer with the pause I don't think we're going to see another rate reduction any time soon. And certainly some commentators are talking middle of next year before we start to see, you know, rates come down significantly. That's the base rate. Mortgage products may, you know, may ease.

There's a lot more competition than there was. A lot more, um, banks and buildings actually seem interested and open for business and are keen to gather business. We heard that from our mortgage guys the other week. So, we'll see. But, um, yeah, it'll be interesting to see what happens in November.

Megan: Yeah, absolutely. So I think that's maybe enough from us.

Paul: Yeah, I've probably said too much now.

Megan: No, not at all. Um, so we haven't actually spoken to Lyndsey and Maurice yet. We're recording this pre interview. 10 minutes. Um, so, um, we might do, there might be some repetition, but, um, we hope you enjoy the rest of the episode and we'll pass over to future Megan and Paul.

Paul: We'll cut out most of the repetition.

Megan: Exactly. So yeah, um, now we'll hand you over to our conversation with Lyndsey and Maurice.

We're here with Maurice and Lyndsey. Maurice is a Managing Director of Estate Agency at Lindsay's and Lyndsay is Head of Estate Agency at Ralph Sayer. So we're here today to chat about quarter three, the property market, and just a bit of a reflection.

Our house price report came out this week covering July to September and we just wanted to chat to people who are on the ground and get to see what the market happening in real time. So I guess Just to kick us off, Maurice, I don't know if you want to, to, to start us off, what, how have the last three months been in the property market locally?

Maurice: It's been quite an interesting market. The market's slightly changing from the last couple of years. Um, post COVID, um, there was a real lack of supply across all categories and now that's evening up. balancing up a bit. Um, so there's, there's more properties coming to the market. Um, or there's, there's a more equal number of properties and buyers out there.

Whereas in the last couple of years, last 18 months, it's been much more in favor of the seller. So we're seeing now probably more opportunity for buyers to get in there and, and source their next property, um, or first time buyers to get onto the ladder. So it's quite mixed. Different categories of properties are going better than others.

Um, family houses still in huge demand, um, particularly within good catchment areas. Um, some of the smaller flats, a little bit slower, um, much more of the, some landlords getting out of the, um, the, the, the Lettings market or the Airbnb market. So there's a bit more of that type of stock on the market and probably slightly less demand for that type of stock.

Good quality properties in good areas, as we always see in Edinburgh, are still selling very, very well.

Lyndsey: I'm finding a lot of the same, to be honest. What I'm finding is, there can be a lot of negativity about the property market, but it's really not like that. I think the main thing is setting your price at the right level, and if you're priced correctly, you will sell.

You know, we're not in a market where you can be a bit more bulshy with your prices. Get it at the right level and you'll sell. Um, we are finding there's more flats coming onto the market. As Maurice said, you know, there's more landlords selling up the short term lets. So there's more sort of choice for buyers there.

Um, But family houses again, still really in demand. So, yeah, and there's a lot of buyers out there, so it's just getting it right.

Paul: I think we've said, I think that's quite an unusual situation, isn't it, Morris? Where at the moment we've got this, just the volume of landlords coming to market. Now that, that's a short term thing, isn't it, really?

Maurice: I think it is. It's, I mean, as an example, we had One landlord about two weeks ago give us five properties literally at the same time.

Paul: Wow.

Maurice: And that's really down to, not that he didn't want to be a landlord, but it was more to do with the interest rates. So he's coming to the end of fixed rate deals. Yeah.

Um, and his, his interest rates are going. You know, quite significantly higher, and it's less profitable or not profitable in some cases for the landlord to stay in, uh, in the market.

Paul: Especially if you have a tenant, and I would imagine that where you can only, you know, there's a cap on the, the increase that, that.

Maurice: Exactly. Talk between a rock and a hard place there. I mean, we're probably getting a bit political here, but it's, it's, it's a matter for the government really to, to resolve this somehow. Yeah. Um, because landlords, as you say, they're, they're capped at 3 percent or 6 percent increases in certain cases.

Um, but I had one chap in Leith, um, about a month ago who'd lived in his property, um, while working in Edinburgh, left Edinburgh and, and rented it out and he was getting seven hundred a month in rent and his mortgage was three hundred. So that was a nice, nice profit, supplemented his pension and then he came to an end of a fixed rate deal and he, his mortgage went to nine hundred.

And he was only getting 700 in rent. So that's the reality out there for landlords. It's not that they're greedy. It's simply that it's not viable for them. Or for some of them. Depending on your funding deals. In that particular case, he had to give his tenant notice because he was losing 200 a month on his investments.

So there's stories like that. Kind of real, real life stories and some of the reasons why landlords are, are looking very carefully about what they, what they do and where they, where they invest and stuff.

Paul: We were, um, we were talking earlier and you'd mentioned that they're just about the type property that are selling really well still.

And, um, we always like, well, this is like good hotspots, don't they? So where, you know, if you could name just reel off two or three hotspots where property is selling well. I think it's the. The traditional areas that, that have always been popular. Um, you know, on the south side you've got sort of Morningside, Bruntsfield.

Polworth, The Grange, um, even out to, towards Fairmilehead. Yeah. Um, still very popular with families on, on the, on the north side, um, Trinity , Inverleith, stockbridge, the New Town, west End. It, it's nothing surprising that I don't think about where the hotspots are.

Lyndsey: Leith. Yeah. It seems to be, it's a, have become really popular as well.

Paul: Yeah. Do you think it, I mean, I say that flippantly, but is, do you think that's a factor?

Lyndsey: I think it is a factor, yeah. I mean, for years everybody's had to put up with it and you know, it's been the bane of everyone's life, but now so many people I go out to, they're just delighted. You know, they can just hop on the tram and get into town really quickly.

Um, so I think that's really helped there as well. But you know, as Maurice says, it is your traditional areas that are still. You know, holding their values and still selling. Well, there's always going to be a demand.

Paul: Yeah, I think you're right. I tell you what we have seen, though. It seems to be if you I always look at we do this little midweek most view property.

And invariably it's East Lothian or it's somewhere by the sea.

Maurice: I was going to come on to that because again, this is the COVID factor. Um, A lot of people are working, um, in a hybrid way. They're not having to be in the office every day of the week. So people can now think, well, I can move out to somewhere really nice, like East Lothian.

I only have to do the commute once or twice a week. So they're much more likely to make that move now, um, because the commuting isn't so much of an issue. So, absolutely, East Lothian, any, any of the coastal towns in East Lothian, Aberlady, North Berwick, obviously, um, even down to Dunbar, um, are, are pretty popular now, so.

We, we've seen really good results in, in, in those areas.

Lyndsey: Even the commuter towns in Midlothian. You know, people can just like say you're not in, you know, they maybe didn't want to commute five days a week into town, but now it's two or maybe three, they don't mind it so much and they can move out of town.

Then maybe you've bought a flat in town before, but now you're getting a house with a garden, your own front door. There's just more for your money. So we're seeing a lot of popularity just out of town as well.

Paul: Yeah. I think certainly. We did a border special and they said they'd seen that there and when we went to Fife

Megan: It's not out yet - coming soon!

Paul: We did the border special and we talked about it in that episode and certainly in Fife as well bits of Fife, you know As you say these things are all if you've only got a brave that commute once a week or twice a week Everything's doable, isn't it?

Really? Yeah. In fact, I know on the ESPC board, I think there's a lot of people who live in Fife that come in, you know, and so yeah.

Megan: Yeah, absolutely. Speaking about, um, we've obviously mentioned that landlords are, um, we've seen quite a lot of their properties come to the market. How have you guys, have you guys seen a rise in short term lets, ex short term lets come to the market?

Maurice: I would say at the moment it's more the Airbnb type properties, the very short term lets rather than the six month or a year tenancies, because that's the bit that's going to get licensed and the landlords of those properties, they're in a very difficult position because you have to apply for planning permission to change the use of the property into a licensed short term let, but you don't find out about the result of the application until you've already paid For the application.

Um, so a lot of landlords are saying, well, is it worth the risk of me not getting a license? Um, and I think that's the main reason.

Paul: And there's certain areas where you think it's highly unlikely now? Absolutely. It appears to be the case, doesn't it really?

Maurice: Absolutely. I think the council have been very clear on what is acceptable as a short term let and what isn't , so the landlords with properties in tenement flats, for example Are less likely to reapply they're more likely to sell but saying that that's it's not a bad thing either I mean it does free up stock for the first time buyers in the main

Paul: I mean is that who's who's buying is that I generally who you find these properties.

Maurice: It depends where they are We've got a number of, ex Airbnbs around the grass market and, and, and the high street and things like that, which are much more expensive than your traditional starter flats. So those properties probably don't come into the first time buyer category, but there's quite a lot of, um, ex Airbnbs in, in the likes of Gorgie, Dalry, Leith, et cetera, which are, are affordable and fit into the first time buyer bracket.

But I think it's quite a positive thing as well because it balances up the market a bit. I mean, at the moment, for the last 18 months, it's very much in favour of the sellers, and both Lyndsey and I work for firms where half of what we do is buying for people. You know, our solicitor colleagues are submitting these offers and trying to act for our buying clients.

And that's been really hard work because it's been very, very difficult, whereas in a more balanced market, which is actually what we want. It's still relatively straightforward to sell, but it's much more straightforward to buy, and if we can have that balanced market, it favors everybody, really. A lot of people think estate agents only want to see high prices, but actually, what we want is a market in which transactions are relatively easy to do both on the buying and the selling side.

Paul: Yeah, I'd agree with, you know, we have meetings as you do know regularly with with firms and it's played us for like the last four or five years. We're sitting there saying if we have a one, what would we have? And we said more properties for sale. And so, this is the year to come true.

We've got 43%, 43. 5 percent more stock on the market than this time last year. So back to what you're saying, there's more stock. On that basis then, if you were a If there's a seller out there listening at the moment, Lyndsey, and they're thinking, Oh, I need to find something first, what would you say to them?

Lyndsey: I'd say there's pros and cons of both.

If you want to secure something before you put your own property on the market, you're obviously at a bit of a disadvantage when you're offering because you're subject to sale. And what we're finding for some sellers, it's not always about the highest price now. It could be they take the second or third offer because someone's not in a chain.

So whilst you understand the nervousness, They could be missing out and missing out. And, you know, that gets frustrating and quite disheartening for people. Whereas what we're trying to encourage people to do is, look, come onto the market and what we can do is we can negotiate you a longer entry date with a buyer.

And most buyers are just so happy to have secured something in this market where they might have been missing out. They're going to viewings week on week. They are delighted. They've got a property. They will wait longer. It then puts the seller in a better position when they come to offer. They're more likely to get an offer accepted more quickly, and the date of entry can come forward for everybody.

So it can work that way really well.

Paul: Yeah, and I think that's the thing, isn't it? It's not. Binding at the point that you accept, really, you accept that offer. You're still in control to say, well, I need to find something now. We talk about this product Unlock, which is a little bit around that, where it's about having a delayed entry date and getting, you know, being transparent.

I think the secret is just being transparent with the buyer, isn't it? That, look, I need to find something, just, just bear with me.

Lyndsey: Yeah, and most people are reasonable, and they will work with you, they know you're doing your best, and it just needs to... tie in for everybody. We used to say, you know, we're not like the English system with the chains and everything.

Well, we are a bit now, but it's just making sure we're in control of that. And there's communication the whole way.

Paul: Yeah. And that's, I suppose, the difference, isn't it, where a solicitor estate agent, it's not just the transaction of the sale. You are very, very interested in what the seller is then doing on the purchase side.

You're holding the hand throughout sale and purchase.

Maurice: Yeah. And most, most buyers are also sellers, unless you're a first time buyer. Everybody else in the market is. It's both a buyer and a seller at the same time, so having the same solicitor dealing with both sides of that transaction, just keeps the whole thing moving a lot, a lot smoother.

Megan: Yeah, I guess that, that kind of, but I was just thinking that. As we always say as well, most sellers are buyers and vice versa. In terms of, we've seen that the average selling price on our house price report has, is reduced, it's down 5 percent from the same time last year. Is that the kind of thing you're seeing?

We've been counting a lot of that. Counting the average, decreasing down a lot to just lower value properties selling rather than actual price of individual properties reducing.

Lyndsey: I think it's a lot of that, but also a lot of fixed price properties. Whereas, you know, last year, you know, you had a lot of offers over, so you're achieving the premiums over, which is pushing the prices up now because of say for instance, there's a lot of flats on the market, they might be going to fixed price. There's a lot of people in chains, they've normally got four weeks in which to sell, so they might be switching to a fixed price sooner than they would have traditionally, um, which maybe keeps the prices that little bit lower, I think.

Paul: Yeah. And if you're an agent, solicitor or estate agent, acting for somebody that's on fixed price, and you get an offer. below the fixed price. What's your advice at that point?

Lyndsey: If it's a fixed price, you're normally being pretty fair. It generally is the home report valuation and I'm not finding too many people are coming in under fixed prices because they're just pleased with the transparency.

And that's why we found the new build homes did well because it's just transparent. And I do think there's buyers out there that are still worried about the offers over system and where they're going to have to go with that. And then, because I've seen that, you know, you've changed to a fixed price and it's one of the first viewers that comes along and buys it.

And you think, where have you been all this time? You know, but they're just nervous about offering because they don't want to be disappointed.

Paul: Some people say they just want offers over.

Lyndsey: Yeah. So it does open up to a new set of buyers as well.

Maurice: I think just back to the pricing and the, you know, the drop in price, to put it into context, we're not dropping from a low point. If you reflect back to two, three, four years ago, we're dropping from a real peak of a market, a market that was extremely overheated for, for a couple of years. So we're actually getting back to a more manageable market, a more affordable market, and a market that is, as I said before, much more balanced, um, a market in which you can transact both on the buying side and the selling side.

So, prices dropping a little are, are not a bad thing. Um, and again, if you're... If you're receiving a slightly lesser offer for your property when you're selling, you're probably buying for slightly less as well. So it all depends. The way to measure it is the difference between what you're buying and what you're selling.

If that gap is enormous, it's very, very difficult. But if you're taking a little less for your property and paying a little less for the next one, it's a much more manageable market.

Paul: And if you're going up the market, you're probably gaining more in that situation, aren't you, currently?

Maurice: Absolutely, yeah. The people missing out there are probably downsizers. But if you're going up in value and in size of property, which many people are doing with growing families, then it's probably a good time to make that jump.

Megan: So, you're mentioning that it's a bit easier for buyers now, and I know in the past when we've spoken about first time buyers, there's a lot of first time buyers who were, you know, putting in offers on 10, 12, 15 properties before they got an offer accepted.

Are you still kind of seeing that first time buyers, or are they being a bit more successful sooner?

Maurice: It depends on what they're looking for.

Paul: Yeah, if you got a round offering 50k on 200, 000 properties, you're probably still going to be this point.

Maurice: Exactly. I mean, there are, there are some people who are still taking quite a while to find the right thing or to be able to purchase the right thing.

Um, but we're, we're seeing the other side of the first time buyer thing is, is the mortgage rates. Um, So, more fixed prices help first time buyers more than anybody because they don't have to have the extra deposit. It's tough enough for them to get the first deposit, to buy their first property, but if they're then being asked to put more cash up front...

to pay over the home report value, then that's cash out of their pocket that they've had to save. And that's really tricky. Whereas at a fixed price, they know what the deposit is, they know exactly how much they're paying, and they're more likely to commit at that point.

Paul: Yeah. I was asked to comment, uh, there was a question put on LinkedIn the other day, and somebody said, I'm the first time buyer.

Um, Should I buy now, or should I just hold off because prices are only going to reduce further? And somebody said, oh Paul Hilton will know the answer. I was like, me? And I just gave my opinion, which I'll ask you to give your opinions first before I give mine. What would you say Lyndsey?

Lyndsey: I think you could wait and wait and wait.

And we never know what's coming around the corner. There's a lot of things happened that we didn't expect. So I think you work within the market that you're in and offer what you can afford. What we have to remember, I guess, is a lot of people had their pot of cash saved that they were using to pay over home report.

That started getting eaten into with increased rent costs, energy costs, just, you know, going to the shops. It has all gone up. So that pot of cash has shrunk, but if it's a fixed price, they can go ahead. And I think, I would always recommend. You know, if you're ready to move, do it now. We don't know what's, what's coming. So.

Maurice: Yeah, I, I'd agree with, with that. I mean, I think, what I would say is about the Edinburgh market in particular is that even when there's been a downturn, Edinburgh bounces back very, very quickly. So it's very difficult to... call the bottom of the market. If we could all do that, we'd all be, uh, you know, not working.

Um, so any market, it's difficult to call the bottom of that market. So I agree with Lyndsey. I think if you find the right thing and you've got the funds and you're ready to go, then. Probably no reason to delay. Um, I don't see it dropping drastically. We're not in a situation where, um, you know, back in 2007 global financial crisis.

It's nothing like that interest rates are higher and, um, and costs generally are at higher and inflation is up. But we're not in a in a very turbulent time property wise. I think things are pretty stable. They've eased off obviously in the last few months compared to 18 months ago, but I don't see a dramatic Collapse of the market.

Put it that way. I don't think there's going to be a 15 20 percent drop and people can pick up absolute bargains. It's not not likely to happen. I don't think

Paul: no, I'd agree, which is exactly what I said. I think if it's right for you, if it's the right time for you and it's not a yes, no decision, is it?

Because, as you say, it's it's where you're living at the moment. How much is that costing you? There's lots of considerations, but it's when it feels right. And I agree. I don't think The difference is we're not seeing those level of repossessions and I don't think we will because we've not seen reckless lending for a long, long time.

And as a consequence, I think, yes, it's got a lot tougher for us all, but I don't think we're going to see that abundance of repossessions the way we did dumped onto the market in 2009. And even then the Edinburgh market held up really, really well, which was, you know, was the ultimate test in my view. I think that was a market like we'd never seen, you know

Maurice: I think it bounced back as quickly as anywhere in the UK.

Paul: And we know, you know, that the mortgage market was, it's almost tried. Oh, there was just no mortgages out there. So yeah, I think we're in a very different market right now.

Megan: Absolutely. So if there was a first time buyer listening, sorry, I'm just going to stick to first time buyers. If there's a first time buyer listening and they were looking for, let's just say under 175, um, to Avoid the LBTT.

Um, where would you suggest that they put in their search criteria for on ESPC. com.

Lyndsey: Probably sort of Dalrys, Gorgie, that sort of area.

Maurice: Yeah, it depends where you, where you want to be. I mean, everyone's got a, you know, a place to go to work or where their friends are. What other things are important to you? Do you need a supermarket nearby or do you have a car and you're happy to travel a bit to a supermarket?

All these things about the locality are quite important. So, I would say make a list what's important to you, um, in terms of location, price, number of rooms, etc. And then if you can tick 7 or 8 out of 10, then you've probably done quite well. Um, but I agree with Lyndsey, um, if you're looking on the sort of west side of Edinburgh, Dalry/Gorgie, the other side of, or the other end of Princes Street, obviously Leith, uh, Meadowbank, Um, is all very, very central.

And you're, you're, you're into Princes Street. Five, ten minutes on a bus. Um, so those sorts of areas and, uh But it depends where you, where you want to be, what suits you.

Lyndsey: I'm finding a lot of buyers that have got more of an open mind now as well. You know, years gone past, they were really stuck on, I want this area or I want this area.

But now, they're sort of broadening their horizons a bit and just keeping an open mind.

Paul: I mean, we're going to do an episode on with that. Where can you get a 30 minutes thing? Because I mean, London, you make your decision and you're kind of in your own little place. It's, I, I think Edinburgh is entirely commutable.

It's walkable. You can be anywhere, pretty much can't you in 20 minutes, half an hour for, for advice, unless you're driving .

Maurice: I, I would, I would say buy as central as you can because it's not gonna be your final property. It's your first property. You're gonna sell it at some point. So the more central you are probably the more increase in value you're going to see. And then as you get a larger and larger property, you will be moving further and further out.

Paul: Yeah, we should do a heat map on that and see, because everyone starts and then as you say, you go out to the suburbs, don't you? And that's why you get these prices in Morningside and Corstorphine and the like, which, you know, we've seen a real increase in.

I think the other thing, I think you're right, was about making that list. But safe to say, you're never going to tick all 10 boxes, are you?

Maurice: Well, if you can, if you can tick nine, the, the, the 10th one that you can't tick is the price. If you've got, if you've got everything else ticked, the property's probably going to be too expensive.

Um, so if you can get close to seven or eight, something like that, um, in terms of, you know, location, number of rooms, how many flights of stairs you want to climb if you're buying a flat, um, parking, uh, proximity to your work, proximity to the train station, whatever it might be. Um, everyone has different criteria, obviously, but if you can, if you can get to eight out of ten, you're doing very very well.

Paul: So when you're thinking about selling them and you're looking to get your property on the market, or even if you're looking to view, how early should you be talking to a solicitor? And when does the meter start running really.

Maurice: So the, the best thing to do is get a solicitor involved as early as possible.

Um, you, you can't buy a property without a solicitor. Yeah. It's as simple as that. So, um, you will need to have engaged a solicitor, appointed a solicitor to, to act on your behalf, to submit the offer, to complete all the legal work when the, when the purchase is done. The sooner you get the solicitor involved, the better.

Um, the, the clock doesn't start at all for most solicitors. Um, we, we don't charge, for example, for. Submitting offers, uh, or unsuccessful offers, um, the clock as such starts when, when the offer is accepted and the solicitor starts to do the work, to transfer the title of the property into your name.

So I would say as early as possible, um, lots of solicitors, obviously, um, within the ESPC, um, framework, more than happy to talk particularly to first time buyers who may not know what the process is. Um, and if you're, if you're selling again. Talk to agents. Lindsay's and myself are examples of many within the ESPC.

They're more than happy to come out, talk to you about your property, your sale, and put a timeline in place, um, so that everyone knows where they are.

Paul: It does make sense. I mean, I remember when I was buying my first place in Edinburgh and, you know, you always get a bit giddy, like, that's the one, that's the one.

I'm going to buy that. And, you know, I'd seen more on property at this point. Remember my solicitor at the time said just don't get too carried away here. What were you going to offer? I was thinking of going in. I want to secure it. So you don't need to offer that. Why would you offer? You know, and we're talking five, 10 grand that he saved me just by saying.

Let me just, you know, put your heart to one side. Let's think about your head here. Let's, let's think this one through.

Maurice: There, there's so many experienced property solicitors within the ESPC network. Um, they, they give excellent advice. They're there to look after your interests as, as a buyer when you're submitting an offer.

Um, the other thing I would say is get your mortgage funding in place or at least speak to an independent financial advisor so that you know roughly what you're going to have at your disposal.

Paul: Yeah, more so at the moment with, you know, question of affordability and the rise in interest rates. That is probably an imperative, isn't it?

And again, I would imagine you're going to take an offer more seriously if somebody comes along and you know that everything is in place.

Lyndsey: Absolutely. It's a question we ask before people even go to view, you know, if you've got your mortgage and principal. So yeah, I would agree with everything Maurice said.

Get everything lined up because although the average selling times 20 days, some things will really quickly. So you want to know, you see something, you can pick up the phone straight away. You've got that relationship with the solicitor. You can get the advice. If you've got something to sell, you've had the agent out.

You know, we've given you a realistic figure of what you could be looking to achieve, so you know your affordability, you know, for what you can be looking at as well. So, you've got everything lined up, ready to go. Yeah, okay, so the message is definitely go early. Yes. It's never too soon.

Megan: Just to maybe wrap up. We were maybe going to talk about the next three months. What do you think is ahead? Obviously, we've got Christmas in 12 weeks time, which is a bit crazy to say. I don't know if it's, we've now passed the boat, if you're wanting to look at, to be in a new home for Christmas, could you still, is there still time to put your home on the market? Or, um, yeah, what do you think the market's going to do in the next three months?

Lyndsey: Yeah, I think there's certainly still time to put your home on the market if you want to be on for Christmas. Um, and we're finding a lot of things are maybe moving now because people are of that mindset. Now, if I don't do it now or in the next few weeks, I'm looking into next year.

So I think, yeah, there's certainly still time to do that. I think we'll continue to see things moving. I don't think there's as much seasonality in the market as there was years and years ago, you know, you can still be sitting in December negotiating offers and it doesn't slow down the way it used to slow down.

So I think as long as people have been realistic, they will still be selling. Um, and yeah, I think things seem to sell all year over. So I think we'll continue to see fixed prices, Um, just with the number of flats. That being said, I was looking at, you know, our sort of past sales for the past couple of weeks, and you're looking at 8%, 7%, 5%, 4%, 8. 5%, so there are still good sales happening. So it's just about getting the right price and the right marketing.

Maurice: Um, I think, um, with, with regard to do you sell now or, or, or do you wait, um, or do you buy now?

Um, again, it comes down to if it's the right property, if you see the right property and it's for you, go for it. And if you're buying subject to sale, that means just, just get yours on the, the average selling time is still, I think, 20 days. So it's. If you look at that in context of the rest of the UK, it's incredibly quick.

Um, it's less than, well, it's, it's almost bang on three weeks on the market before an offer is accepted on average. So, um, we're only at the beginning of October now. You could have the property on the market in a week's time. You could have it sold in four weeks time. If, if, if your property goes in the way that the average suggests.

Um, so you've, you've got a sale in early November. Yeah.

Paul: Agreed. Yeah. And then the entry date can be. Negotiated from that point on it and we do see I mean certainly if you get into December and you're unsold We do see those properties that are paused over The Christmas festivities, shall we say, for a week or two where it's no viewing, that's not uncommon, is it?

Maurice: No, not at all. And I think, um, as Lyndsey said, it used to be much more seasonal. There was a very, very hot spring market and then a very hot September October market and a bit quieter in between. But certainly the last few years we've been selling right up to almost Christmas Day. Offers have still been coming in.

So, yeah, there's no reason. If it's the right thing and the right time for you, then... Um, it could be December that you make your move.

Paul: It's interesting, isn't it? Because I think the one month this year that I think we have seen things a little quieter was August. I don't know why that was. You know, I mean, obviously it's, it's a holiday, peak holiday, and maybe children going back and people had other things in mind.

But it's the one month we looked at our statistics and web traffic and page views and all the other key metrics that we would look at. I'd say that was a month where we have seen.

Maurice: Yeah, we were looking back at that, um, just a few weeks ago and comparing this August with, with the previous August. And we were.

You know, quite, quite significantly down in terms of number of sales and number of offers received. But then it bounced back incredibly quickly in September. And we ended up having a phenomenally busy September. Um, and October so far is looking pretty positive as well. So, there's always sort of ebbs and flows in the market.

It's not that, you know, August has to be, this number of sales in September has to be. A different number. It does happen. Flow of it.

Yeah, I agree.

Paul: But we did say that we use this seasonality or you know, is that if for the year as it lights off and clearly I think what we're hearing is that September's come back strong and we are predicting that the running is gonna be pretty good to the end of the year.


Megan: Perfect. Well, thank you both very much for coming on the podcast. That was a really great chat.

Yeah, thanks guys. Appreciate that. Cheers. Cheers.