Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Starry eyed rise in property sales claims by Registers of Scotland raise suspicions of attempts to boost house transactions

REGISTERS OF SCOTLAND (RoS), the ‘non ministerial’ ‘ self financing’ trading fund tasked with keeping Scotland’s shamefully unfit for purpose register of land ownership & property purchase/sales transactions running, has today announced figures suggesting up to a 36.6% jump in property transactions over the past three months in certain parts of Scotland, in spite of the deepest recession the UK has ever faced.

In figures released to the media, RoS claims the number of property transactions has risen by 9% over the past 12 months. Figures from East Lothian suggest their sales have inexplicably jumped by 36.6% compared to the previous three months. RoS claimed there were 18,514 home sales between April and June, although a breakdown on the kinds of sales, whether willing sale, or those forced by banks & lenders or brought about because families have had to move due to financial pressures, may tell a more accurate tale.

Data published by RoS suggested the average price of a house fell very slightly over the year. The figures published today by RoS cover all residential sales, including sales for cash not involving a mortgage. The figures used for highlighting increases and decrease have excluded Local Authority areas where sale volumes represent less than 1% of the all Scotland sales volume. Data for areas where sale volumes represent less than 1% of the all Scotland sales volume are still included in the publication tables.

Meanwhile critics have pointed out the Registers of Scotland has become too close to the property sales industry, mostly run by the legal profession & estate agents for the figures to be a trustworthy indication of the true state of Scotland’s property market. RoS freely admits it is required to respond to “drivers” from bodies such as the Law Society of Scotland, who have an interest in maximising statistics in order to help ailing regional Solicitors Property Centres (SPCs) around Scotland.

The integrity of information held by the Registers of Scotland also seems to be up for question, in the case of an ongoing investigation into a solicitor operating in the south of Scotland who appears to own upwards of fourteen different properties yet who’s name does not show up in any records held by RoS, not even on his own family home.

Registers of Scotland made the following announcement on today’s figures : Sales volumes soar whilst average property prices decrease by 0.2 per cent

Registers of Scotland published statistics today showing that the total volume of sales across Scotland registered during the first quarter of 2012/13 was 18,514, an increase of 9.2% on the same quarter the previous year. East Ayrshire showed the largest percentage fall in the number of sales with a decrease of 4.9%. East Lothian showed the largest percentage rise with an increase of 36.6% in total sales compared to the same period in the previous year. The City of Edinburgh recorded the highest sales volume with 2,037 residential house sales, an increase of 8.4% on the previous year.

But whilst sales volumes increased, the average price of a residential property in Scotland decreased by 0.2% during the first quarter (April to June) of the financial year 2012/13 compared with the same period the previous year. The average price of a residential property for this quarter was £153,501.

The highest percentage rise was recorded in Moray with an average price of £144,813, a rise of 7% compared with the same quarter the previous year. The City of Edinburgh recorded the highest average price of £220,428, an increase of 5.6% compared with the same quarter the previous year. The largest percentage fall in price was in Scottish Borders which showed a drop of 13.3% with an average price of £163,222.

The total value of sales across Scotland registered in the quarter increased by 9.0% compared with the previous year to just under £2.85 billion. The City of Edinburgh remains the largest market with sales of over £449 million for the quarter, an increase of 14.5% over the same quarter last year. Moray showed the highest percentage rise with the value of sales increasing by 40.1% compared to the previous year.

Semi-detached properties showed an increase of 1.7% in average house price to £142,434, while the other property types showed a decrease in average house price in this quarter. All property types showed an increase in sales volumes, with terraced properties showing the highest increase at 11.7%.

Rhona Mackay, Commercial Services Manager, Registers of Scotland, commented: “Sales volumes have changed dramatically in recent years, from a healthy 42,503 sales in the second financial quarter of 2007 to when the market crashed in the fourth financial quarter of 2009 with a disappointing 11,800 sales. The recent hike in sales may be further boosted when the new Funding for Lending scheme, which aims to improve the availability of credit and ultimately to get growth going in the UK economy, begins next month. The Bank of England has provided for a 5% increase in funds for lending – up to £80 billion – over the next 18 months, so the scheme has the potential eventually to deliver a substantial boost to the UK economy.”

Meanwhile RoS is looking for a new Director of Finance, in charge of it’s SEVENTY FIVE MILLION POUND budget, details on the position can be found HERE

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stats on house sales from an agency about as honest as Edinburgh city council

East Lothian must have a lot of dodgy sales according to the figures