Agent says England home-buying and selling process should be more like Scotland’s

An agent has called for the next Government to take a lesson from the Scottish property market after figures showed that transactions north of the border grew at more than double the rate of volumes in England during March.

The proptech estate agency, Nested, analysed provisional transaction data from the ONS that showed Scotland’s monthly transactions increased by 46% between February and March this year to 8,690 while in England they were up 18% to 86,810.

The monthly growth rate in Scotland was 100% this time last year, compared with 87% in England, and 46% in 2015 against 14% in the south, the ONS figures show.

Looking back over five years of transactions Nested, which guarantees a property sale price and provides vendors with an interest-free loan if they are unable to sell within 90 days, said the Scottish market was persistently ahead and currently 8% higher than sales levels in England, which is attributed to differences in the home-buying process.

Matt Robinson, chief executive of Nested, said: “Our analysis clearly shows that Scotland’s property market has proved to be more stable and reliable than England over the last five years and this trend is set to continue.

“Big events like the EU referendum and Stamp Duty reform have less of an impact on the number of transactions north of the border than they do here.

“Why? Because in Scotland your offer is legally binding once accepted, and this provides the certainty and security that buyers are crying out for.

“In England, however, the repercussions of broken property chains are exacerbated by a slowing housing market. The result is an inefficient market which lags behind Scotland even with all macro factors considered equal.”


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  1. Epimetheus79

    What nonsense, sorry Matt you know nothing about the Scottish system. Neither how it’s performing or how it operates!

  2. Richard Rawlings

    English agents may whinge about “the system” but few do anything about it. The industry even complained about HIPs to such an extent that they were ditched! A really switched on English/Welsh agent is likely to have a success rate surpassing that of the average Scottish agent (and as a trainer of agents in all three countries I can tell you that Scotland is not without its frustrations as well). Here are three things agents should do as a minimum:
    1.     Get the seller to complete a Law Society Seller’s Property Information Form (you can download them for free at AVRillo) as part of the instructing-taking process (this can also help you get the instruction)
    2.     Get your client to use a great conveyancer who looks for solutions, not problems. One who will communicate by email/text/video/phone, not snail mail. One who will take out search insurance at the outset, rather than waiting for searches to arrive.  
    3.     Use binding offer documents to sort the men from the boys, even if you include suspensive conditions.

    And there are plenty more. Although any of the above is unlikely to influence the market, they could help you double your own profits. Which is nice. Have a great day.

    1. AgentV

      No. 3). have you got a link to some examples?

  3. Mark Connelly

    There are many significant shortcomings with the Scottish system.  As a Scot who has bought and sold in Scotland this is a naive opinion.

  4. AgencyInsider

    To say: ‘“Because in Scotland your offer is legally binding once accepted, and this provides the certainty and security that buyers are crying out for.” proves that you fundamentally don’t understand the Scottish conveyancing system.

  5. Richard Copus

    Why do people keep bleating on about Scotland.  It is a completely different legal system to England & Wales with very few similarities.

    The answer is simply to amend the law as has been done in most other countries which practice English Law (around a fifth of the world’s population).  In my opinion, some of the Australian states have the best system and the USA (which practices English Law as amended) also has a much more efficient method.  It is not rocket science to amended section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 (formerly s.40 LPA) as these jurisdictions have done. Let Scotland get on with its own problems!




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