Estate agents in Inverness have shared their opinions on whether house prices will rise or fall this year.
The Inverness housing market saw a slower market across 2023. Higher mortgage rates, the cost-of-living crisis and economic uncertainty all played their part.
But what will happen to housing market in Inverness this year?
We asked local property experts who work in Inverness and the surrounding areas for their market predictions.
Janette Dillon/Emily Barclay – Macleod and MacCallum
Macleod and MacCallum property manager Janette Dillon said there was a slowdown in the market last year, but prices remained stable.
She explained: “There was a reduction in the number of properties coming on to the market with sellers postponing a move until there was greater economic certainty.
“Of course, this created a supply and demand issue which saw prices remaining stable.”
Property assistant Emily Barclay is expecting to see a rise in sales this year from an “improving” market.
She said: “As we all adjust to the new costs of living, we would expect that we will see an improving market as we head towards spring.
“It is difficult to predict with any certainty how the market will perform, but we would be surprised if we did not see a rise in the numbers of sales.
“Some predictions suggest an increase in number of sales of 3-4%, and prices continuing to increase by around 2% or so.
“It is fair to say that the buy-to-let market has suffered, not only by the interest rate increases, but also by the increasing amount of legislation affecting the sector.
“Perhaps not surprisingly for our area, the most homes remain those with sea views and ideally some land – regardless of the economic climate, we would expect these properties to always be highly sought after and achieve a good sale price.”
Karine MacRae Simpson – Tailormade Moves
She said the city “held its own” last year though the amount people paid above home report valuations dropped.
Karine expects to see more trust in the market and is looking forward to the “first normal year since 2019”.
She said: “With inflation settling and mortgage rates reducing and stabilising, there will be a restoration of trust and certainty in the market for 2024.
“January so far is looking to be a great month for the area in sales and this should continue into the spring which ordinarily sees an influx of both purchasers and sellers.
“The local market will continue to hold steady in terms of prices, which will in turn encourage confidence in buyers as the year progresses.
“We will probably look back at 2024 being the new benchmark for a ‘normal’ year, the first one since 2019.”
Neil Cromarty – Graham and Sibbald
Graham and Sibbald director Neil Cromarty said mortgage rates reaching their highest levels in 23 years had a big impact on the market.
Neil has seen early positive signs and is full of optimism for house prices in Inverness this year.
He added: “The hope is that this trend will continue and result in a greater level of stability in the market. As well as some form of growth throughout the course of the year.
“External factors may well continue to have an effect on the residential housing market, with ongoing uncertainty over interest rates and the likelihood of a general election later in the year, however that remains to be seen.”