How Covid Rocked the Market - Spring Briefing 2020

As we move into Spring 2020, analysis by Rettie's Research team has highlighted the significant impacts to the Scottish housing market of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Key Findings:

  • The future world will likely be analysed in AC and BC terms, or After and Before Covid-19.
  • The sales market is now largely on hold due to the effective closure of Registers of Scotland. The impacts in other countries, as well as experience in other UK housing market crises, suggests that we will witness a steep fall in transaction activity over the near term.
  • In this context, house price indices almost become irrelevant as they will reflect the very few sales being traded.
  • In the rental market, there has been a notable shift from short-term lets to the long-term rental sector. Airbnb available listings in Edinburgh are over one-quarter down from the end of 2019 to March 2020, while property advertised for long-term rental in the city through Citylets are up over 50% this year

Dr John Boyle, Rettie’s Director of Research & Strategy commented:

“Our regular Market Briefings series demonstrates the sudden impact of the global pandemic on our local housing market. It is difficult to see a return to normality until the lockdown ends and the market opens again. The economic fundamentals of the market were relatively strong going into this (there was price growth of over 4% in the early part of the year), which should support recovery coming out. However, the longer the lockdown, the more difficult recovery is going to be.”