A Look Back At 2019’s Property Market Trends

So, that’s 2019 done and dusted, and it’s been another good year for us here at VMH. In this blog, Derek discusses the trends of 2019 and what he thinks 2020 has in store…






2019 Edinburgh Property Market Trends

The major trend for the year has been the rise of the ‘subject to sale’ offer. The majority of prospective sellers I spoke to last year told me…

“We’re looking to sell, BUT WE NEED TO FIND SOMETHING FIRST”.

My standard response was “OK, but pretty much EVERYONE is saying that! And as long as EVERYONE is saying that, nothing is actually coming on the market!”

What did the lack of supply mean?

Accepted wisdom was to sell first and then buy. The lack of supply meant there was a good level of interest in most properties on the market. Irrespective of style, location, quality of finish or price-point, they were sought-after.  And once you’d sold, that put you in a very strong position to buy, as a) you knew to the penny what you had to spend and b) you were effectively chain-free (to use an English estate agency term).

Having said that, that’s all very well if you were relatively relaxed in terms of what you wanted to buy. The last thing you’d want is to be celebrating your sale, only to then think “Wait a minute! Where are we going to live?”

Avoiding the chain…

On a number of occasions, we had sellers instructing us to accept third (or even fourth!) placed offers at closing dates. Why?  Simply as they were not ‘subject to sale’ and were chain-free. Sellers took comfort in knowing that they could then pursue their intended purchase without (too much) fear of their sale falling through. An unsuccessful sale can be as a result of an offer being withdrawn when a buyer is unable to sell their own home, or if the buyer hasn’t achieved the figure they require to buy from their sale.

Subject to sale offers

In most cases, accepted ‘subject to sale’ offers went through without a hitch. Buyers were typically being given a week to get their own place on the market and then a further three weeks to get it under offer. On the odd occasion, however, we were required to remarket some properties where buyers hadn’t managed to sell in time. Thankfully, the lack of overall supply on the market meant that we were either able to approach one of the original unsuccessful offering parties to see if a deal could be put together, or we went back on the open market and sold again quickly.

What’s next?

What will 2020 bring?! Brexit scheduled for the end of January presents a bit of an unknown, but Edinburgh has generally proved to be a resilient market. If the trend is once again to be high demand, but an overall lack of supply, then the year should follow a similar pattern to the last.

Derek Brien (Head of Estate Agency) discusses the 2019 Property Market Trends

Derek Brien
Head of Estate Agency

Thinking of selling? Contact Derek to arrange your free presale valuation.