A Scottish property expert has said the market is experiencing an "encouraging surge of interest" ahead of a potentially positive year.

It is claimed that the 2024 homes market holds "considerable promise", driven by robust buyer demand and some alleviation of inflation, setting a positive tone for the upcoming year.

Veteran estate agent John Kelly, who established Glasgow-based specialist estate agency Corum 20 years ago, said he believes buyer and seller confidence will increase in an exclusive interview for The Herald.

Mr Kelly, who has steered Corum through challenging periods for the property market in the past, including the 2007 credit crunch, 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum, and Brexit, said: "We have been impressed with the market's resilience because everyone’s been so used to upheaval in recent years, especially given rising interest rates and the continued negative rhetoric from some quarters of the media.

"From our perspective, buyers have remained laser-focused and determined since the start of the year, while sellers have enjoyed premiums at a level that they probably thought was being left behind last year. The combination of both has led to a confident marketplace, which shows little sign of slowing down any time soon."

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He said: "We are actively involved in both the family homes and apartments market, allowing us to stay attuned to both suburban and urban demands. In sought-after family-oriented areas like Newton Mearns, Giffnock, and Bearsden, factors such as schooling, square footage, outdoor spaces, and a sense of community are pivotal in driving sales this year.

The Herald: The business covers a large area of ScotlandThe business covers a large area of Scotland (Image: iStockphoto)

"Meanwhile, in the West End and Shawlands, where a substantial portion of the demographic consists of young professionals, community remains a central motivator, alongside the desire for a cosmopolitan lifestyle, characterised by cafe culture, events, and social interaction.

"Following the latest decrease in interest rates, we have experienced an encouraging surge in early interest from prospective buyers seeking advice in anticipation of their moves next year. This trend is particularly reassuring for those contemplating selling next year. A lot of the components to a strong marketplace are starting to align, and there is a palpable sense of optimism in the air, fostering a positive outlook for the market in 2024."

Corum, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, has marketed around 2,000 homes this year, and the company is set to exceed its ambitious target for the year by closing property sales of more than £750 million.

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However, amid positivity, the industry expert urges buyers and sellers alike to be patient and trust the process.

The Herald: Veteran Mr Kelly has worked in the industry for 37 yearsVeteran Mr Kelly has worked in the industry for 37 years (Image: Story Shop)

"Demand will likely continue to outweigh supply in 2024, fuelling a positive market for sellers, but the speed in which transactions get to completion has caused headaches for several parties this year and that’s likely to continue for the foreseeable.

"The conveyancing process, coupled with lenders going through increased due diligence, is acting as a drag on completion times, but there is not much that can be done about that for now - we would just encourage our clients to acknowledge that and to be prepared for delays.

"There haven’t been many out-and-out shocks, but there have been a few interesting talking points."

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Mr Kelly added: "There is real competition amongst buyers right now, and a successful purchase often comes down to how well an offer is presented - ideally, you want to have sold first to make yourself as attractive as possible, yet despite that, we are seeing many opting to buy first; an unusual strategy in this kind of market.

"We have been pleasantly surprised to see homes that traditionally might struggle sell very well, a real endorsement of the market appetite. A concern has been the speed of the legal system and conveyancing; it’s something that needs addressing because the excessive delay in getting transactions to completion heaps untold stress on all parties."

Mr Kelly said: "Overall, we hope to see a more stable economic climate for the market to operate within, which would help reassure buyers of affordability, in turn,  supporting seller confidence.

"Seasonality will be back in full swing next year; we will likely see a busy spring and autumn market, with Easter, summer and Christmas holidays representing quieter periods. We also think there will be a notable trend among sellers that will see greater emphasis put on the position of an offer, rather than the value - expect to see chain-free buyers prove to be the most popular choice."