April From the Agent’s Point of View
Commenting on the month’s property news and statistics, MOV8 Real Estate’s Managing Director, Robert Carroll, stated:
“April has been a strong month for the property market across Scotland. We have seen an increasing number of properties coming to the market in April 2019 versus previous months.
“Whilst some areas of Scotland, particularly Edinburgh, remain highly competitive, we are seeing a softening in the number of Notes of Interest and Offers that we are receiving at Closing Dates. This is bringing eventual sale prices closer to the Home Report valuation after a couple of years of sale prices often massively outstripping Home Report valuations.
“This is starting to give Scottish property buyers confidence that they will be able to secure a property. In turn, this is giving more property sellers the confidence to bring their property to the market as they are more confident that they will find a property to purchase.
It is no surprise, therefore, to see that property price increases are ‘cooling’ in many areas of Scotland. Rampant house price growth is good news for investors and speculators. However, the most important thing is that we have a healthy property market where buyers and sellers have the confidence that they will be able to sell a property and buy another one when they need to move home.”
Increase in Average Selling Price and Number of Properties Coming to Market in East Central Scotland
From January to March 2019, the average selling price of properties in east central Scotland saw a 3.4% year-on-year increase, rising to £238,315, according to the ESPC. Within Edinburgh, the average selling price rose to £255,280, which was a 2.1% increase compared to last year.
Outwith Edinburgh, the average selling price of properties in Dunfermline saw a significant annual increase, rising by 11.5% to £159,471. The average selling price of properties in East Lothian increased by 10% to £239,279 and prices in West Lothian rose by 8.9% to £198,245.
The average selling prices in other parts of Fife, as well as in Midlothian and the Borders saw minimal changes in comparison to last year. The average selling price of properties in East Fife dropped by 0.9% compared to last year, and in West Fife and Kinross, the prices dropped by 2.9%. Midlothian and the Borders both saw marginal increases, with the average selling price in Midlothian rising by 2% year-on-year and prices in the Borders increased by 0.4%.
During the first three months of 2019, the sales volume in east central Scotland increased by 3.3% compared to the same period last year. The number of homes coming to market during these three months increased by 10.5% annually. The median selling time of properties in east central Scotland was 30 days, which was five days slower than last year. Within Edinburgh, the median time to sell was 28 days, which was 7 days slower than last year.
Across east central Scotland, properties achieved a slightly lower percentage of Home Report valuation on average, with properties achieving 102.3% over the last three months compared to 103.4% last year. Also, fewer properties went to a closing date compared to last year – 24.8% of sales from January to March 2019 had a closing date compared to 29.2% last year. In the capital, over the first three months of 2019, homes achieved on average 103.5% of their Home Report valuation compared to 105.4% last year, and 30.1% of sales had a closing date compared to 35.1% last year.
Jamie Fraser-Davidson, Business Analyst at ESPC, said: “Over the past three months, we have seen another reasonable increase in median selling times in east central Scotland, with homes selling five days slower than last year. Homes are also achieving a slightly lower percentage of Home Report valuation on average, while the number of sales with a closing date has dropped compared to last year.
“This is likely a result of an increasing number of properties coming to market in recent months, helping to alleviate some of the strong demand for property in east central Scotland. It could also be that the continuing uncertainty over Brexit is deterring buyers. However, average selling prices are continuing to increase year-on-year, indicating that buyer confidence hasn’t been impacted significantly.”
Average price of a property in Scotland down for the first time since 2016
The latest statistics from the UK House Price Index (HPI) show that the average price of a property in Scotland in February 2019 was £145,762, a decrease of 0.2% on February in the previous year. This is the first annual decrease in the average price of a property in Scotland since March 2016. Compared with the previous month, house prices in Scotland fell by 3.1% between January 2019 and February 2019. The UK average house price was £226,234, which was an increase of 0.6% on February in the previous year and a decrease of 0.8% on the previous month.
The volume of residential sales in Scotland in December 2018 was 7,392 – a decrease of 8.2% on the original provisional estimate for December 2017. This compares with decreases of 2.0% in England and 5.1% in Wales, and an increase of 4.3% in Northern Ireland (Quarter 4 – 2018).
Registers of Scotland Accountable Officer, Janet Egdell, commented: “The average price of a property in Scotland in February 2019 signalled the first annual decrease since March 2016, falling by 0.2% in the year to February 2019. Prices increased in around two thirds of local authority areas and different property types showed a mixed picture, indicating that the market is highly variable across the country in this time of uncertainty.”
Average price increases were recorded in the majority (22) of local authorities when comparing prices with the previous year. The biggest price increases were in Midlothian and Perth and Kinross where average prices increased by 9.9% to £185,753 and 8.8% to £192,631 respectively. The largest decreases were recorded in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, where average prices fell by 7.0% to £149,435 and 5.8% to £180,862 respectively.
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