Glasgow property market shows continued strength as viewings surge at estate agent Corum

04/09/2023
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GLASGOW’S property market remains ‘robust and thriving’ – despite a 15-year peak in interest rates – with one of the country’s leading estate agents, Corum, reporting a 10% surge in viewings during the first half of this year.

Corum, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, conducted more than 16,000 viewings in the first half of 2023, up from around 14,000 during the same period in 2022 – a record year for the company.

Founded by John Kelly in 2003, Corum has positioned itself at the forefront of the property market’s evolution. Focusing exclusively on buying and selling property, the company listed £636m in property last year, selling in excess of £781m. 

The Bank of England recently increased the base interest rate to 5.25% – the highest level since 2008 – leading to concerns house prices may fall as buyers struggle to afford mortgages. 

However, Kelly believes predictions of plunging property prices are wide of the mark, with the impact only likely to be felt by portions of the market – with 35% of buyers in Scotland purchasing without a mortgage. 

The property expert said demand continues to outstrip supply in the Glasgow market, with the city’s amenities and lifestyle offering – particularly in areas such as the west end, south side, and suburbs including Newton Mearns, Bearsden, and Milngavie – as popular as anywhere in the UK. 

Kelly, an industry veteran of more than 37 years, said: “Glasgow’s property market is robust and thriving. Inquiries are down slightly on last year, but the rise in viewings shows serious buyers are still attracted into the market. 

“There has been a great deal of misplaced negativity around the housing market and the impact of financial conditions on house prices, but people’s lives continue to move on and with it comes the necessity to find a new property. 

“In four decades in the industry, there has never been a time where there isn’t some form of report highlighting the imbalance between supply and demand. That will constantly stimulate the market in areas that offer a compelling combination of amenities and lifestyles. 

“Glasgow’s strength in modern industries such as financial services, technology, and professional services allied to an almost unmatched balance of amenities, schools,  culture, green space, and lifestyle makes it an extremely attractive proposition. This may be controversial, but I don’t believe the Glasgow property market is expensive for what it offers, and we will continue to see strength in the market for the foreseeable future as a consequence.” 

Corum’s pioneering spirit is evident from its inception. From a humble beginning with eight staff members and three branches in 2003, the firm has burgeoned, now employing more than 71 professionals across nine offices spanning Glasgow, Ayrshire, and the West of Scotland. 

The firm’s revenue has grown from circa £750,000 two decades ago to £6.67m in 2022 – without ever operating at a loss – cementing its market authority.

Corum has successfully navigated clients through major geopolitical shifts, including the 2008 credit crunch, the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the recent cost-of-living crisis.

Kelly said lessons learned from each would stand Corum in good stead for the future, adding that innovation in areas such as advertising, listings, and digital and social media, underpinned by continued investment in people – including a leadership development programme – will continue to be the keys to success. 

He added: “The pandemic made people recalibrate what’s important to them, and the right kind of property and lifestyle for them has taken precedence. We’ve seen that continuing through the cost-of-living crisis, with people needing to cut back in some areas so they can afford the properties they want.” 

He added: “We’ve never reinvented the wheel – we’ve simply come up with better ways to do established practices. We were told at the beginning that you had to offer financial services as well to succeed; we’ve shown that isn’t the case. We used colour listings when black and white was the norm; we now use insights to guide social and digital channels, using them to convey the Corum brand rather than sell properties.

“Most importantly, we invest in our expertise and people, always promoting from within and developing what we have wherever possible. We know buyers and vendors want to work with people who can provide genuine intelligence and insight into the property market, and that’s the way we’ll always do our business.” 

To find out more about Corum, visit corumproperty.co.uk.  

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