2023 Ayrshire Market Report

By Bruce Patterson, Managing Director, Corum Ayrshire

Another compelling year in the Ayrshire property market is behind us. So what do we take out of it, especially given the media is dominated by the cost of living crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising interest rates and persistent inflation?

In Ayrshire it’s mostly good news. Across our Ayrshire branches we completed a company record of over 650 sales during 2022. Compared with 2021, it was our most successful year by a margin. Not only that, but almost one in four of our customers’ properties were sold at closing date (sealed bid/multiple bids) resulting in some incredible sales prices and fantastic outcomes for our clients.

This incredible ratio of closing dates reflects how our professional agents effectively manage the sales process which not only gives every buyer a chance to offer on every Corum property, but also ensures our vendors always achieve the optimum sales price as well as providing the security of a fall-back position should for any reason the sale fall through.

So what’s driving demand? At the time of writing, mortgage rates appear to have stabilised and strong employment figures indicate that talk of a severe protracted recession seems premature. It’s a fact that not enough new houses are being built, therefore, the continued shortage of supply means good quality stock in key residential locations is always in strong demand.

It’s now three years since the beginning of the pandemic and over this time indebted consumers have rebalanced their finances. Government initiatives like the Help to Buy Scheme have helped first time buyers, and banks have relaxed lending criteria by increasing income multiples and reducing the amount of deposit required for a loan.

In addition, weaker exchange rates and stricter residency rules have encouraged those clients looking to buy second homes abroad to consider UK options instead, although in Scotland this may be mitigated by the recent increase in ADS (Additional Dwelling Supplement) tax. Notwithstanding, continued low returns on savings accounts still exist. This has meant downsizers are looking to release equity from larger family homes so coastal areas have been beneficiaries of this trend.

Indeed, a significant proportion of successful buyers (nearly 55%) moved to Ayrshire over the last 18 months from outside the local area. Many buyers came from down south and overseas, although the majority of relocations were from the Greater Glasgow area, Central Scotland, the East Coast and Edinburgh.

Many sales in key areas are still achieving Home Report valuation and above, so professional advice is paramount. Rather than be rushed into accepting an early offer it is still essential to consider professional advice in order to allow your agent to properly manage the sales process. Stay patient and allow enough time on the market for effective marketing and set a closing date.

In an under supplied market this strategy most often yields the best overall result, not only in terms of price but also in the quality of an offer.

Our new offices in Ayr and Troon include the latest in digital technology and internet marketing so we are looking forward to showcasing our bespoke CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system which can access the largest database of buyers throughout the UK.