Mixed signs for Scottish sales market as Brexit looms | Sales Bulletin Summer 2019
- With the UK due to leave the EU on 31st October, there are somewhat contradictory signals on how this is affecting the housing market.
- Positively, Registers of Scotland reported as rise in market activity across much of Scotland in Q2 2019, with market turnover up 6.2% overall. RICS, while downbeat about much of the UK, recorded better market sentiment in Scotland, with positive price expectations in their July figures. Rightmove has highlighted that properties sell faster in Scotland than other parts of the UK, at under 50 days on average.
- On the downside, more recent transaction data from the HMRC shows a 24% drop in Scottish housing transactions in June 2019 compared with June 2018, with a sizeable drop also for the wider UK.
- Since these surveys are measuring key indicators in different ways and at different points in time, such divergence is not unusual. HMRC transactions data are also sometimes significantly revised. Nevertheless, the uncertain political and economic situation will be expected to bear down on the housing market as the year progresses if the current Brexit stalemate continues, with the HMRC figures probably the first significant sign of this.