Property in Edinburgh needs to remain affordable to avoid a boom-bust scenario developing in the housing market in 2014, according an Edinburgh-based property expert.
Scott Brown of Warners Solicitors and Estate Agents has warned that although growing consumer confidence in 2013 has seen more houses being sold for higher amounts, house prices need to remain steady to avoid a housing bubble happening in the New Year.
Scott Brown believes that as we move into 2014 with continued increased confidence and historically low interest rates, it is important that prices do not rise too quickly.
He said: “The trends we have seen in 2013 of increased and speedier sales along with modest prices rises reflect the growth in confidence we have seen in home buyers, linked to the availability of low mortgage rates.
“However it is important that the housing market remains on a sensible and sustained track during 2014.
“The positive trends we have seen so far should continue into 2014 and see prices rising 3-4% over the year, but anything more than this could run the risk of unsettling the market.
“House price inflation and prices rising too quickly is not good. Price rises need to be slow and steady.
“If prices rise too quickly you risk going back to a boom to bust scenario which helps no one. It is also important that prices continue to be affordable across the board to allow as wide and diverse range of owner types as is possible.
“The right to own a property should not be seen as ‘exclusive’ or outwith most people’s reach, but should be affordable for someone who wants to put down roots, settle in a home, and improve that property and make it their own.”
Scott believes that volumes of transactions will increase in 2014 as general consumer confidence improves along with the UK economy recovery and the continued access to affordable lending. The Government’s new Help-to-Buy scheme is also expected to see many new buyers with smaller deposits find their first property, giving an added boost to consumer confidence.
Scott added: “It is vital that the property market in 2014 remains steady and that no dramatic shifts in patterns occur. This way we will see sustainable rises that will create a more stable market overall.”