We always aim to be open and honest with any existing, new and potential clients. With that in mind, we will be offering regular insights into what we are doing here at PPP across our estate agency and lettings.
Our first market review provides information and evidence on how we performed during 2018 and what happened in the local property market.
2018 was a definitive year for lettings in terms of our position within the local market and regulation of the industry at a national level. As we moved into our tenth year of trading, we experienced continued growth against a backdrop of some major legislation and tax changes affecting the Scottish private rented sector.
Through 2018 our lettings team agreed 141 new lets in PH1 and PH2, compared to a total of 93 in 2017 for the same area. This equated to an increase of 34%, with a fantastic market share of almost 36%*.
The rental market in Perth was buoyant with demand outstripping supply in popular residential areas such as the Western Edge, Craigie, Tulloch and Scone. The trend towards increased demand for larger family accommodation continued with houses accounting for around 45% of our rental stock and a noticeable lack of supply of 3 bedroomed properties. There was also strong demand from young professionals and retirees.
Looking at the flat market, modern apartments rented well, however, older properties in need of upgrading took longer to rent. Generally, tenants are becoming more discerning and are looking or good quality properties. Older properties which were refurbished to a high standard and well-presented rented much more quickly and achieved higher rental values.
Incentives for first time buyers had some impact on the rental market as some past renters found themselves in a position where they were able to buy their own homes and this put further pressure on demand for properties in a poor condition. Overall, the average rent for our managed properties was marginally up on the previous year.
At the start of the year, we continued with our plans to integrate and adapt to the new Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) which went live at the end of 2017. The PRT replaces the assured and short assured tenancy agreements for all new tenancies in Scotland and has no fixed term period. Clients have welcomed our bespoke tenancy agreement which, not only covers the new legal obligations placed on tenants and landlords, but goes further to provide as much protection as possible for both parties. Further, our core lettings staff undertook an external training programme which covered all the documentation and associated processes for a PRT to ensure they are fully up-to-speed with the changes and able to provide accurate advice and support to our clients.
Aside from a few shorter lets, we have not yet experienced any marked changes in tenant or landlord behaviour and the impact of the PRT seems to have been minimal with the vast majority of landlords and tenants looking for long-term rentals. It has also been positive for the estate agency market, providing a short-term accommodation option for individuals who have sold their property and are looking for their next purchase.
We were also busy preparing our processes to ensure compliance with the Register of Letting Agents and the Code of Practice, part of a legislative framework introduced by the Scottish Government last year to help regulate the industry and ensure the sector meets key standards and expectations. A key standard is a minimum level of training and specific qualifications for lettings staff. Our staff undertook one of the most comprehensive training programmes which represented a significant financial investment and highlights our commitment to best practice and high professional standards within the industry. We welcome and embrace this move by the Scottish Government as it will make the lettings industry become much more respected and professional.
Overall, 2018 was an eventful year as the lettings industry became accustomed to the new regulatory landscape. Based on our experience, the market in Perthshire performed well and we received an upturn in new landlord enquiries towards the end of the year. We are optimistic that it will continue to perform well into 2019 and there are opportunities for professionally-advised investors. A key trend is that tenants are becoming more discerning and landlords must pay attention to and invest in the condition and presentation of properties. This will minimise void periods and maximise rental value.
Overall it was a fantastic year for our estate agency team and a positive year for the property market in the Perth area. Family villas, 2/3 bed semi-detached villas and bungalows all performed well as did ex-council homes and flats. City centre and some apartments did encounter some challenges. Changes to legislation and tax implications for landlords prompted some to sell and, as a result, there was a bit of a saturation of these type of properties. The popular government funded LIFT scheme also allowed first-time buyers to take a bigger step onto the property ladder and purchase small homes instead of flats. This created a decrease in demand for some flats. The key for flats is to price attractively to entice potential buyers and ensure the property itself is well presented and freshly decorated to make it stand out from the crowd.
Locations such as Oakbank, Craigie, Letham, Tulloch, North Muirton all proved to be popular choices again, as well as villages such as Bridge of Earn, Scone, Luncarty and Abernethy.
It was also pleasing to see the upper end of the marketing moving with us selling 18 properties in excess of £300,000 across Perthshire. This was particularly encouraging ahead of a bespoke premium package we will be launching in 2019 for larger or rural homes. We believe we have identified a gap in the market for these types of homes and have worked to provide a more comprehensive, tailored package with heightened exposure and services across different platforms. More news to follow on this.
Within the PH1 and PH2 postcodes areas we agreed a total of 211 sales and we were the only estate agent or solicitor firm to record over 200 sales throughout the year*.
The 211 sales agreed in 2018 against our total of 74 in 2017 represented a dramatic increase of 185%*.
In addition to the Perth PH1 and PH2 postcodes areas, we also successfully negotiated sales in locations such as Blairgowrie, Coupar Angus, Pitlochry, Auchterarder, Aberuthven, Comrie, Dundee, Newburgh, Grange of Lindores, Kinross, Meigle and Inchture.
We also recorded the lowest average selling time for any Perth-based agent or solicitor firm.
To aid our plans for growth and provide an unrivalled customer service, four new members of staff also joined the team:
- Gary Robertson as Head of Estate Agency
- Cloe Wyllie as Estate Agency Assistant
- Hannah Ireland as Lettings Negotiator
- Victoria Haston as Financial Controller
Our hard work, attention to details and focus on customer service were given industry recognition in the form of a number of awards and nominations during 2018:
- British Property Awards Gold award for Best Estate Agent in Perth & Kinross
- British Property Awards Gold award for Best Estate Agent in Scotland
- British Property Awards Gold award for Best Letting Agent in Perth & Kinross
- Perthshire Chamber of Commerce finalist for Business Growth
- Perthshire Chamber of Commerce finalist for Service Business of the year
- The Courier Business Awards finalist for Service Business of the Year
- The Courier Business Awards finalist for Small Business of the Year
A fantastic year all round for our team and, having already hit the ground running, we look forward to 2019 with much enthusiasm and determination to help more people to get moving with their plans.
If you are thinking about letting or selling a property, please get in touch with our award-winning team:
Tel: 01738 442255
* Source: Data compiled and independently verified by Rightmove using the date range 1st January 2018 to 31st December 2018. Copies of the data can be emailed upon request.