Ayrshire Market Report

Bruce Patterson

Managing Director of Ayrshire

How is the housing market? It’s the question I get asked most often, and of course, the only plausible answer to that question is which market? Bungalows or family homes? Modern flats, country homes or new build? Well, as you would guess- it depends!

Key Trends

Premium Home Market

Strong performance with several closing date sales in December and significant premium prices achieved.

Middle Market

There is a really strong New Year demand for good quality family homes in key residential areas. Bungalows and three-bedroom homes are highly desirable, with 50% of these house types sold at a closing date.

Pricing Strategy

Despite robust demand and positive sentiment, the market remains price-sensitive concerning asking prices, so it is crucial to get that part right. Being hyper-analytical when assessing comparable sales means getting the initial asking price correct, which means a shorter, less stressful sale and inevitably a better outcome.

Relocation Trends

Many buyers are still moving from across the UK, but the majority of clients are relocating from the Greater Glasgow area, seeking value in Ayrshire, drawn by its comparative affordability.

Seasonal Variations

December was very active, and January was extremely busy after the festive holidays, with several closing dates in the first few weeks of trading as positive news on reducing mortgage rates dominated news headlines.

Interest Rate Trends

The Bank of England’s decision to pause and potentially cut rates positively impacts the housing market, making mortgage financing more affordable. At the time of writing 5, five-year swap rates were around 4.2%, with mortgage deals now available sub 4% for the first time in over a year.

Future Projections

Inflation is down and falling, so expecting an early cut to interest rates is positive news for the Ayrshire market. We anticipate a 2% – 5% increase in prices for 2024 in line with inflation.

“Confidence has returned in the New Year, with many mainstream news outlets anticipating a cut to base rates and nearly all reporting positive news regarding the UK property market.”

Last autumn, the market for detached quality homes remained robust, with keynote homes still achieving premium prices in December. The formative weeks of the winter market have also been highly active.

Whatever type of property you are considering selling, in a strong market, vendors should be aware that rather than be rushed into accepting an early offer, it is often in their best interests to stay patient and understand the benefits of a consistent marketing plan backed by professional advice, allowing enough time on the market to set a closing date. In a limited-supply market, this strategy often yields the best overall result, not only in terms of price but also in the robustness and quality of any offer.

“We believe that the key to a successful sale is competition, therefore, vendors should always adopt an aggressive approach to asking prices, which is key to a successful and trouble-free sale.”

Overambitious pricing can result in a longer, stressful and less than satisfactory result. We recommend that you review comparable sales in your area and take professional advice from our agents, who maintain consistent track records in the local Ayrshire area.

We have observed the continued trend of buyers relocating from various parts of the UK, with a significant number coming from Greater Glasgow. These buyers are often attracted to Ayrshire for its value compared to the higher prices in the city. However, it’s crucial to understand the seasonal patterns in our market.

December was unusually busy, given it coincides with the festive season, we haven’t seen such a slowing in demand, therefore this makes timing a critical factor when thinking about listing your property.

“On the broader economic front, inflation at 3.9% is the lowest for two years, and the potential for interest rate cuts by the Bank of England is always a positive sign for the housing market.”

This possible cut in rates as early as Spring has created competition between lenders and finance more affordable. The current 2-5 year swap rates are trading around 4.2% leading to competition between banks, and mortgage rates are now being advertised below 4%.

In any case, it’s always prudent to be careful. Despite improvements in reported inflation figures, the likelihood of a significant reduction in interest rates in the short term remains neutral, with the latest Bank of England’s committee recently voting 6-3 in favour of maintaining current rates.

Those clients considering selling their properties in Ayr this year might find it beneficial to have an early current market appraisal. The Spring market can get oversupplied during the Easter break, so to make your property stand out, it’s better to be early to the market rather than late. It’s an opportune time to gauge an appropriate asking price strategy, and Corum is delighted to offer no obligation from one of our experienced agents.

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