A spring in the step
THE VOICE OF PROPERTY BEVERLEY BROWN
Anumber of sources are indicating things may be taking a turn for the better. bank of Scotland has revealed that mortgage payments in Scotland account for a lower proportion of disposable earnings than anywhere else in the uK bar northern Ireland, having fallen by more than two-fifths from a peak of 38% in the last quarter of 2007 to 22% in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Commenting on the bank’s findings, rettie & Co’s head of research, Dr John boyle, says: “Housing affordability in Scotland has been boosted by the modest fall in house prices, reduced mortgage rates and an increase in the size of deposits being put down by buyers. However, the high level of deposit required – around 20% for first-time buyers, double the long-term average – and restrictions on lending are still making it difficult for people to get on to, or move up, the housing ladder, hence transactions remain subdued. nevertheless, improved affordability could help the market recover more quickly in Scotland when the economy improves and access to finance for mortgages is more available.”
meanwhile, property and land management specialist bell Ingram reports Argyll and bute’s property market is showing signs of moving forward, based on healthy sales figures for properties and estates in 2012, coupled with a buoyant rental sector.
Associate Steven Hornby says that while conditions remain challenging and house prices for the most part are similar or lower than they were 12 months ago, sales are picking up and new buyers are coming into the area, so there are plenty of positives to boost people’s confidence in the local market.
Further north, average house prices in the Highlands g
Fine properties for sale, and parties claiming things are on the up – is it too early to wager that the winter of discontent is over?
were down only marginally in 2012 compared to the previous year, according to Highland Solicitors Property Centre (HSPC). And the year ended on a high note, with average prices in December rising significantly to £182,328, the highest monthly average since July 2008 and 15% up on December 2011.
Good news too for east central Scotland as the total number of homes sold across edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife during the last three months of 2012 rose by 11% on the year and to the highest level recorded for the fourth quarter since 2007, according to the latest eSPC statistics.
And for new home buyers comes news that bank of Scotland has joined the Scottish Government-supported mI new Home scheme, which enables buyers with a 5-10% deposit to borrow up to 95% for new-build properties valued up to £250,000. Product options include a two-year fixed mortgage at 5.69% with a £999 fee; a two-year fixed mortgage at 6.09% with no fee, and a seven-year fixed mortgage at 5.69% with no fee.
ALtHouGH burns night has been and gone, Savills’ Glasgow office is marketing an 18th-century house in north Ayrshire with a link to the bard. mayville House in Stevenson was the birthplace, in 1768, of Lesley baillie, later immortalised by burns as bonnie Lesley in two of his songs. the house was built in 1763 by her father, robert baillie, and the baillie family claimed to be descended from balliol, King of Scotland, and Sir William Wallace.
the b-listed Georgian house is enchanting and has been owned by the same family since 1919. recently refurbished, it combines contemporary influences and period features including an inglenook fireplace, salt alcove, and a beautiful stained glass window on the staircase, thought to depict robert burns. mayville has three public rooms, kitchen, cloakroom, three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the first floor, and two bedrooms on the attic floor.
A mile from the sea, it stands in 1.5 acres of garden grounds that include a tree-lined driveway, a meadow (could be reinstated as a paddock), summerhouse, and a stable block with planning permission for conversion to two two-storey cottages. the stable block, gate piers and a sundial in the front garden are all also b listed. offers over £525,000 are invited.
Wooden it be nice
tHe old Granary near Symington in South Ayrshire is another property that warrants a mention. An imaginative barn conversion completed in 2004, its 3200 sq ft layout incorporates a galleried kitchen/dining room fitted with solid oak bespoke units and a built-in four-oven Aga, sitting room and study area, drawing room and four en-suite bedrooms. Features are many – the drawing room has a vaulted ceiling with exposed roof trusses, floor-to-ceiling window and an inglenook brick fireplace with multifuel stove. It also has solid oak flooring,
A seat of learning
DID you see the picture of a “loo with a view” that appeared in numerous newspapers the other week? While all eyes were presumably meant to be on the jaw-dropping view from the floorto-ceiling window of a toilet 765ft up on the 68th floor of the Shard building in London, all I could see was the toilet with both the seat and lid left up. Clearly the last occupant – and the photographer – were male.
All in the preparation
ProPerty particulars are generally of a high standard nowadays. However, malapropisms are still alive and kicking. I recently received a printed schedule that included the following mind-boggling paragraph:
“the beautifully appointed rooms will be painted in pallets from the truly authentic Farrow and ball paint which is made with only the finest ingredients and with age old methods; the result has a scrumptious coveted finish.”
While it is common to see iron referred to as “rot” instead of “wrought”, visualising a room painted in “pallets” is a first.
MAYVILLE HOUSE: offers over £525,000.
ARGYLL AND BUTE: estate sales figures have boosted the overall picture.