ELLON’s property market is bucking the trend of the recession, the Times can reveal, after local solicitors described a noticeable up-swing in the number of enquiries and sales.
Financial advisor Phil Anderson, who runs Ellon-based Phil Anderson Financial Services, said that the market was showing signs of spring growth, and that there was a marked increase in activity compared to earlier in the year.
“Mortgage enquiries from home movers and first time buyers increased quite a bit last month compared with the first couple of months of 2011,” he said. “I have been monitoring the number of new properties going up for sale on aspc.co.uk, and 55 new properties went up for sale in the area in March. This is more than the whole of January and February combined, and it is also an increase on March 2010.”
He added that improvements in the mortgage market were also making it easier for people to secure reasonably-priced mortgages in the area, and that the buy-to-let market, which has taken a hammering in the recent recession, could be on the cusp of improvement as investors return to the market.
“Mortgage rates are very competitive at the present time and several lenders have recently been offering some very good fixed rate packages,” he said. “The level of enquiries from first time buyers and new buy to let landlords has been very encouraging, and should help the market in and around Ellon.”
Speaking about Ellon’s prospects overall, he was optimistic, saying that the town’s position relative to Aberdeen meant that it had been insulated from the worst effects of a dip in house prices, compared to towns further from the city, such as Fraserburgh or Banff. He added that large scale developments in the area - including the Trump development, the dualing of the A90 between Balmedie and Tipperty, and the Energetica corridor - would further boost property values in Formartine.
Winchesters’ Solicitors, based on Station Road, have also reported a significant increase in activity, though the business cautioned that prospective property owners in the area needed to be ‘realistic’ regarding the money their properties could fetch.
Property expert Morag Winchester commented: “The local market is moving well if clients expectations are realistic. Some of the smaller properties have been starting to sell, and this should have a knock on effect for the rest of the market.”
Meanwhile, in the broader economic context, Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce chairman Bob Collier said that the region’s business community would be looking for any incoming government in Edinburgh to facilitate better business conditions in the north-east.
“Whilst Aberdeen and the North-east has remained, to some extent, sheltered from the hardship faced elsewhere in Scotland, a number of issues highlighted in this survey are now beginning to impact in the region,” he said. ”Rising material, energy and transportation costs - even a rise in Royal Mail postage prices in early April - all add strain to the balance sheet and increase pressures to improve efficiencies across the board.”
“We support the Scottish Chambers of Commerce in asking the incoming Scottish Government, whatever their political colour or colours, to do what they can to ensure a stable platform for business to grow.”