Today sees the launch of Scottish Housing Day, the aim of which is to raise public awareness of the different housing options that are available to members of the public who will be able to access information and advice on the dedicated website.
Ironically whilst there may be a lack of confidence amongst some buyers concerned about the uncertainty over Brexit and in the north east the effects of the prolonged dip in oil prices, for those in a position to buy their first home or move house there has never been a better time to time to buy in the new build market.
The standard of new build homes in the UK is higher than ever before. New build properties benefit from high specification finishes and improved energy efficiency, providing a low maintenance and cost effective living environment. Most come with a NHBC (or similar) 10 year defects warranty.
The biggest hurdle many potential purchasers face is finance and, for some, help is available through the Government's Help to Buy Scheme. For others, part exchange schemes and other incentives which guarantee the sale value of a purchaser’s existing home are available to help purchasers complete the sale of their existing property without risk, thus avoiding the stress of trying to sell on the open market, managing and paying for estate agents, and worrying about house buying chains collapsing.
Housebuilders are competing hard to sell their products in the current climate and offer an ever increasing range of incentives - such as payment of LBTT (which, at current levels of up to 15%, can in itself be hugely prohibitive), legal fees, removal costs, cashback payments and free furnishings. There is demonstrable market evidence that these attractive and tailored incentive packages are making buying new a much more attractive proposition for many buyers.
The current market certainly offers scope for negotiation, whether on price or incentives, mortgage lending is healthy and interest rates are low. In short, there are attractive deals to be done on new build properties - and that can only be good news for would be purchasers whilst stocks last....
The Scottish Housing Day initiative is a timely and welcome reminder of the opportunities that are available and will help buyers ascertain how best to capture them.