A Scottish law firm has recorded its busiest month to date in the property market, with its home sales during August up 80 per cent on the same month last year.

Lindsays has also recorded a sharp increase in the value of the properties it sold by its residential property teams in Edinburgh and Dundee, achieving a total combined value of £31.45m - an increase of 114 per cent on the same period in 2019.

Breaking those numbers down, home sales in Edinburgh during August rose by 150 per cent on the year, with the total values recorded almost double their 2019 level at £20.95m.

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In Dundee, the number of properties on which offers were accepted has risen by 40 per cent, with the collective value of the homes sold there up by 38 per cent at £10.5m.

The firm said the figures confirm a hugely competitive market with intensifying demand from both buyers and sellers since Covid-19 restrictions on the home sales industry were relaxed in June.

Maurice Allan, of Lindsays, said: “August has been an unprecedented month for us. The activity we have seen in has been quite exceptional.

“We expected demand to be high after restrictions that were in place at the height of the pandemic were eased - and there was always a feeling before that what we would see during lockdown was more of a pause in the market rather than a dip. That’s what has played out in July and August. If anything, the months of lower activity has created a bottleneck of demand, and the flurry of enquiries, viewings and sales we are seeing is the realisation of that.”

The team at Lindsays said it is finding that properties at all prices and of all sizes are selling quickly, supported by a positive picture generally from lenders.

Before June 29, the house sales industry had been close to dormant – with no in-person viewings able to take place and very few new sales agreed – since the nation was ordered into lockdown in March.

Mr Allan added: “We are seeing a good number of first-time buyers and, in common with what we have seen for some time now, the trend of people buying subject to the sale of their own property has continued too.

“We obviously don’t know what the future holds in terms of the wider economy, but what we are experiencing right now is a resilient and vibrant market, which we hope will leave us well placed to weather any challenges which may emerge. There are a great deal of positives to be had in the markets in which we operate right now, from both the sellers’ and buyers’ points of view.”

Lindsays staff conducting viewings do so within Government rules over social distancing and hygiene requirements, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Guidance documents are shared with viewers and sellers. Video meetings are also held with clients and remote valuations are possible.

Before an in-person viewing can take place, all prospective purchasers first take part in a virtual viewing of a property, generally via a video tour. This is reducing the number of speculative in-person viewings.

A campaign calling for more support for the nightclub and festival industries is launching today.

The Freedom to Dance campaign urges protection for the night-time economy during the coronavirus crisis, saying it should be recognised as "an important part of the nation's culture".

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Figures in the industries are calling for funding from the Scottish Government.
Andrew Fleming-Brown, managing director of the SWG3 venue in Glasgow, said the sector was at risk of collapse as restrictions continue.

He said: "Nightclubs, events and festivals are a huge part of Scotland's cultural profile and the UK's fifth-biggest industry.

"Without urgent support from the Government, the sector faces financial collapse and thousands of job losses.

"Please get behind #FreedomtoDance and help us fight for survival."

MM Search saw surging revenue in its second year of business, operating across 15 countries.

The fast-growing Glasgow-based executive search company’s turnover rose by 42 per cent from a year ago, driven by the demand for its digital-first and personal approach to international executive search.

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Joint managing partners Ken Morrice and Derek MacFeate are now working across 15 countries and cite their team’s commitment as a testament to MM Search’s growth and success.

MM Search is now working with an impressive range of UK and international businesses, including Beeks Financial Cloud Group Plc; Zotefoams Plc; PG Paper; SMS Plc; Wheatley Group; CJ Lang and Son Ltd; Devro Plc; Dawnfresh; Finsbury Food Group and Erskine.

Further key highlights within the past 12 months include the appointment of Mike Lees, ex-managing director of Tennent’s as a non-executive chairman to its board of directors.

Derek MacFeate, joint managing partner, MM Search, said: “We have ambitious plans for MM Search, with international expansion and continued overseas business development within our grasp.

"However, we are not naive to the support we require to develop to our desired level, our growth is a testament to both the commitment from our team and the strategic expertise of our board of directors.

Ken Morrice, joint managing partner, MM Search, said: “We like to think that our progress within the past 12 months has been down to our investment in both building our team but also in our approach to making the process of executive search more streamlined. We won’t, however, stand still. We know that we are still at the beginning, we want to be the go-to executive search team of choice for businesses looking for trusted and seasoned advisors when hiring both future leaders and building brilliant teams.” 

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