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Housing market in Scotland remains largely muted

The average Scottish house price is now £151,320. Scottish house prices are 89% of their peak at the beginning of 2008.

Yet again, the latest house price movement has been generated from a market with a low number of transactions. Compared to the previous quarter, the number of transactions in the Monitor is down by 17% and by 8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago. Prices continue to show volatility as a result.

For the market as a whole, Scottish house purchases during the fourth quarter of 2012 (one month behind the Monitor) showed an increase of 2.7% on the same quarter of the previous year. For the month of December, the number of transactions rose by 5.2% compared to the same month in 2011.

Donald MacRae, chief economist, Lloyds TSB Scotland, said: "The Scottish housing market had adjusted to the recession with a halving of sales and a period of price volatility. There is evidence of a muted pick-up in the number of houses bought and sold in the last quarter of 2012 with average prices now at 89% of their pre-recession peak.

"Consumer confidence turned negative at the beginning of 2011 and remained negative for 21 of the 24 months to the end of 2012. The latest figure for quarter four 2012 shows a return to negative territory. Consumer confidence remains low with the level of retail price inflation exceeding the average increase in earnings squeezing disposable income. The rate of increase in consumer spending remains modest.

"There is some indication of a modest pick-up in housing market activity at the end of last year. Mortgage availability has increased, however  prices have remained virtually static while the economy is showing tentative signs of modest growth. The Scottish housing market remains largely muted entering 2013."

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