Now they can shout about it, given Registers of Scotland's latest figures, which records more than 18,500 house sales were transacted in Scotland in the last three months – a record 33% increase from the previous quarter.
In addition, new research commissioned by ESPC, reveals that 82% of people living in
Edinburgh, Midlothian, East and West Lothians and West Fife, are looking to buy a property within the next five years – which is considerably more than the 55% who responded to the same question last year.
I believe this renewed energy and confidence highlights an era of 'New Realism', where sellers accept the need for realistic pricing as the only way forward.
As no one can see into the future, the philosophy of living in the present and doing what you have to do to get on with your life also holds true for the property market.
Celebrate in style
McCarthy & Stone is holding a special summer celebration party for Renfrewshire residents at its latest development, Kingsferry Court in Giffnock, on Thursday, August 9, from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. Visitors will be welcomed with strawberries and Pimms, and will have the opportunity to take part in a sporting quiz and take a tour of the development's show complex, which includes an apartment and communal lounge.
Prospective buyers also have the opportunity to try before they buy by staying in an apartment at the development for up to two nights completely free of charge.
Prices for the purpose-built one and two-bedroom 'Later Living' homes start at £99,950, while other features worth celebrating include maintained landscaped gardens, security and peace of mind, and an assistance package that takes the hassle out of moving by helping with the sale of an existing property.
Tax help for some
VAT on approved alterations to listed properties will cease as of October 1, although the government has made a few alterations to the Finance Bill, which means owners who applied for Listed Building consent before March 21 this year, zero rating will still apply for approved alterations. Owners now also have until October 2, 2015 in which to complete the work – a far more realistic deadline than October 1 this year.
However, listed home owners could be facing yet another VAT increase, as the European Commission has deemed the UK's present reduced (5%) VAT rate on the installation of energy saving materials contravenes the VAT Directive and must be amended to avoid the possibility of proceedings against the UK in the European Court of Justice.
The UK-wide Listed Property Owners Club has commissioned legal research into European/Human rights law to explore the possibility of financial help for owners of listed buildings.
To help fund what could be a long and expensive battle, they are appealing for owners of listed homes to join the club via www.lpoc.co.uk
View from the hill
Those looking to escape to the hills, either permanently or at weekends, might like an elevated hillside log cabin overlooking the village of Kirkmichael in Perthshire, for sale at offers over £260,000 with Savills' Perth office.
Constructed in 1995 from interlocking logs, it has an eco-friendly turf roof to ensure it blends into the hillside. It also has almost 1.5 acres of ground, comprising woodland – a mix of mature trees and around 400 young native trees planted by the present owners – and landscaped gardens incorporating an enclosed vegetable, herb and fruit garden in raised beds.
Inside, the accommodation includes a 20ft sitting room with access to a veranda, spacious dining kitchen with a central island /breakfast bar, wood-burning stove, and an opening through to the adjoining sun room/dining room, three double bedrooms, bathroom and additional toilet.
The local village amenities are excellent and include an award-winning shop, primary school, and three hotels – all conveniently within walking distance.
Full of character
MY property of the week is
Croys House – a stunning country house set in 32 acres of spectacular gardens and grounds at Old Bridge of Urr, near Castle Douglas in Dumfriesshire.
Built in 1744 and extended in 1871, it has a wealth of original and historic features, including parquet floors, fireplaces with Delft tiled inserts, fabulous plasterwork, and a hall that really makes a statement, with a semi-circular wall and a sweeping iron staircase with ornate risers that look like delicate openwork panels of black lace.
For me, this property's combination of great age and character is as good as it gets. The accommodation could comfortably house an extended family, with five public rooms, a large kitchen – with Aga – which opens to a breakfast room, plus domestic quarters.
There are nine bedrooms and three bathrooms on the first floor, and further stores and a workroom on the second floor.
In addition, there is a modernised three- bedroom gate lodge, stable block and river frontage. You could also make your own wine perhaps – or jam at the very least – as the three greenhouses in the walled garden area house vines, fig, peach and apricot.
Amazingly, all this is for sale with Knight Frank's Edinburgh office at an asking price of £1.2 million – around the same as some nice, but certainly not remarkable, detached houses currently for sale in up-market Glasgow suburbs.
Now let me think, which would I prefer...
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