Property Market Highlights
- Marginal Average House Price Increases Across Scotland’s Key Local Markets
- New Property Listings & Sales Volumes Dipped Between May and July 2023
- 80.5% of Properties Between May and July Achieved Their Home Report Valuations or Higher at Sale
- Median Time Homes Spend on the Market Hits 19 Days – 6 Days Slower Year-on-Year
Marginal Average House Price Increase Across Scotland’s Key Local Markets
The latest market report from ESPC announced a modest property price increase across Scotland’s key local areas between May and July 2023. Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife, and the Borders enjoyed a 0.4% boost, bringing the average property price to £287,820. This suggests that the nation’s real estate market continues to demonstrate resilience in the face of economic challenges.
Zooming in on specific markets now, we can see that properties in East- and Midlothian enjoyed property price increases of 2%, taking the averages to £289,387 and £256,027 respectively. Meanwhile, West Lothian experienced the most significant decrease in property prices, with a dip of 8.2% taking the average cost of a home to £242,323. ESPC, however, suggests this may be down to an influx of lower-value homes coming to market compared to the same time last year. The next areas to report a slight decline are West Fife & Kinross and the Borders, where house prices dropped by an average of 4.4% and 2.8% respectively.
It was a tale of two cities in the nation’s capital, however, with Edinburgh’s city centre witnessing a 6% decrease in average property prices (hitting £341,185) while the city’s South-West experienced a growth of 7.4% (resulting in an average of £380,382).
New Property Listings & Sales Volumes Dipped Between May and July 2023
Despite the marginal average property price increase enjoyed across Scotland’s most popular areas, the last three months show a decline in both new properties coming to market and those closing a sale compared to the same time last year.
New property listings during May to July 2023 were down just 1%. This indicates there’s still plenty of stock kicking about and even suggests the scales may have tipped in favour of the buyers, with more sellers on the market than we’ve seen in a while. If so, it’s good news for those looking to buy, with more purchasing power, more options on the market and even more time to deliberate before making a move.
May to July this year also witnessed a substantial descent in the volume of properties sold, with a 10.3% decline compared to this time last year. Given the current economic situation, however, this could easily be attributed to the rising interest rates and the cost-of-living crisis – both making homeownership more expensive and a bigger consideration for buyers.
80.5% of Properties Between May to July Achieved Their Home Report Valuations or Higher at Sale
Between May and July 2023 a commendable 80.5% of properties sold for their Home Report Valuations or higher at sale, achieving an average of 103.8%. Strong news for sellers and a trend we’ve seen consistently since the property market reopened in 2020.
Compared to the same period last year, however, the volume of properties achieving their Home Report Valuations or higher at sale is down from 93.2%. As ESPC comments, this small reduction was expected as buyers behave differently compared to 2022 – when market conditions were substantially more competitive.
Interestingly, we’ve also seen more and more properties hitting the market at a fixed price rather than ‘offers over/above’, with ESPC’s data reporting a 62% increase between May and July 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. A sharp contrast to previous years and one that may be due to increased buyer and seller caution.
Median Time Homes Spend on the Market Hits 19 Days – 6 Days Slower Year-on-Year
The time a property sits on the market also increased between May and July this year, with homes in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders hitting a median selling time of 19 days, 6 days slower year-on-year. The latest report from ESPC also showed a reduction in the volume of properties going to a closing date, with 28.8% of homes listed for sale reaching a date (down from 37.8% in 2022).
Overall, this month’s report suggests the market is cooling slightly compared to last year, with buyers considering their purchases more carefully in the face of economic uncertainty. On the other hand, the increase of housing stock on the market may also be behind the slower selling times, as buyers enjoy more time to consider their options rather than being forced into a frenzied bidding war.
But what does it all mean?
Paul Hilton, ESPC’s CEO had this to say: “We would expect to see buyers behaving more cautiously, and considering their bids even more carefully than before, so the data showing a steadying of the average selling price, as well as slower selling times, fewer closing dates and a reduction in the amount that buyers are bidding over Home Report is aligned with this. It’s clear to see that the market is holding well and while the frenzy of the past few years has slowed, the market is still performing very well overall… when you look past the headlines and dive into the data, there is still much to be positive about for those beginning their property journey.”
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