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The recent publication of the statistics for the fourth quarter of 2022 (produced by the ASPC in conjunction with the University of Aberdeen Business School, Centre for Real Estate Research) provides an interesting insight into market activity during the last quarter of 2022. The main points of note are as follows:

  • The quarterly house price change in Aberdeen City and Suburbs is -0.8%
  • The annual house price change in Aberdeen City and Suburbs is +3.9%
  • The annualised house price change over 5 years in Aberdeen City and Suburbs is +1.2%

Commenting on the latest findings, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ASPC John MacRae stated:

“The report released by the Centre for Real Estate Research at the University of Aberdeen Business School, for the fourth quarter of 2022, while showing a slight downward shift in our local housing market, compared to the third quarter, in fact contains a degree or resilience.

Bearing in mind the severe dislocation to money markets, caused by the Kwarteng mini budget, and the consequent reaction of mortgage lenders, most folk were expecting housing markets to be badly hit.  There have been reports of serious dislocation in England, and we expected to see something similar, here.  What we have seen, however is a market that has shown some signs of lessening activity, but other signs of maintaining, broadly speaking, the modest recovery shown throughout 2022.

The fourth quarter is expected to be quieter due to perfectly normal seasonal fluctuations.  What we see, therefore, this year, could be explained in those terms.  I think we need to be careful not to read too much, either way, into the fourth quarter figures.  I think we must expect there to have been some impact from the financial uncertainties, and we should acknowledge that, just at present, it is difficult to be able to say anything definite about the 4th quarter figures, other than they are, perhaps better than we might have expected.

On the debit side, there is evidence of a modest drop in prices, in the fourth quarter.  On the credit side mark up has remained steady at 1. At the time of writing, 31st January '23, our records show that 2023 is starting off in a fairly normal way, with insertions building and sales, naturally, lagging behind.  So far so good.

Purely on instinct, I feel our local market has performed reasonably well, given external factors, and I think we should expect activity to continue, at reasonably normal levels."

At Mackinnons, we certainly felt that the new year started with a “bang.” Typically a quiet month, in January we received a number of instructions to proceed to market, possibly due to the fact that over the festive holidays many sellers had decided to take the leap of moving to a new home or part of the country.

While the first half of February has been quieter, we have started to see again a steady increase in instructions as we move towards Spring, particularly within the city/suburbs than more country/rural areas.  With those properties in desirable commuter bases and in good condition leading the charge, we have also seen a heartening rise in activity with those properties that have been on the market for a longer period of time, perhaps as many buyers are now reassessing their options in the face of rising interest rates and the cost of living. Although we are still at an early stage in the year, it will be interesting to see how the local market develops in the coming months.

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