As part of our ‘Move home in 2021’ series, Colin Crombie, Managing Director of Kirkwood Homes, shares property market insights as well as his thoughts on why now is a good time to buy.
Why do you think now is a good time to move?
“Mortgage rates are low, and prices in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are lower than they’ve ever been before. Combining this with the amount of choice that’s available to buyers at the moment, there’s never been a better time to buy in my opinion.
“From a new build perspective, the choice is even more apparent. You can find homes ready to move into immediately, with great offers available, right through to properties still to be built, that provide a blank canvas to create your dream home. The latter can’t be done in the second hand market, which is why many people are choosing to buy new.
“Most people have managed to save money throughout lockdown, so we’re seeing deposit sizes growing and more people in a strong position to buy and take advantage of the current market and mortgage rates.”
What trends have you seen in the market in the past year?
“When we initially came out of lockdown, the market was predominantly fuelled by first-time buyers. There was a huge surge, as rental costs remained high, Government incentives were on offer, and interest rates were low - encouraging people to take their initial step onto the property ladder. This tailed off a bit as mortgage criteria tightened, but we are now seeing first-time buyers coming back steadily.
“What has generally been driving the market is people’s desire for more space and gardens, and a less densely populated community to live in. So many buyers have been choosing to move from the city to more rural areas, as proximity to the office has become less important and countryside walks and garden meetings with friends and families is now the norm.
“People are saying the pandemic will “change us forever”, but I don’t think the lifestyle changes will be permanent for everyone. Normality will slowly start to come back, and as this happens there will be a proportion of people who want to spend most of their time in the city, whether working or socialising. It’s therefore important to consider the future when considering where to buy your home, as your lifestyle may very well change again.”
Why do you think people should consider buying new?
“New builds are massively energy efficient compared to properties in the second hand market, and with most people actively trying to save money, this presents a good opportunity to prospective buyers.
“The initial cost of a new build can also be less, as if you are buying an old home, you’ll likely have to conduct renovation work, redecorate, or put in a new kitchen or bathroom. The costs soon add up. With a new home, your house is complete and built to your specification and is ready to move into.
“New homes also offer more modern, flexible living space, which is now even more important. This type of layout is ideal for home working, entertaining and busy family life.”
How has the past year been for Kirkwood Homes?
“I’m delighted to say that, at this stage in January, we are on course to double the volume of reservations taken across our developments in comparison to the same period in 2020. Our marketing suites remain open, and our hardworking sales advisors are operating on an appointment-only basis, which has also proved immensely popular as each client is offered dedicated and uninterrupted time to discuss our developments and luxury range of homes.
“It’s fair to say the volume of interest and subsequent reservations at our developments throughout 2020 may have initially taken us by surprise, however this has shown no signs of abating as we continue into 2021.”