Scottish house sales up while prices continue to drop

While the Edinburgh and Lothians continues to see an upturn in buyer activity, the average price of a property in Edinburgh sold between February and April this year was £199,382 – down 4.6 per cent from £209,065 a year ago, according to the latest figures release by ESPC, the leading property marketing company.

In East Lothian and Midlothian there was very little movement in prices.

A 2.0 per cent increase in East Lothian brought the average house price in the area to £200,683 whilst in Midlothian a year on year increase of 0.3 per cent meant prices inched up from £172,582 a year ago to £173,163.

In West Lothian the average house price fell by 9.8 per cent annually from £160,982 to £145,198. The decrease stemmed from a rise in the proportion of smaller properties selling in the area. Properties with one or two bedrooms accounted for 40 per cent of sales between February and April in 2013 – up from 34 per cent during the same period in 2012.

April saw a rise in activity from both buyers and sellers. Across Edinburgh and the Lothians the number of sales recorded rose by 7.9 per cent annually whilst the number of homes coming onto the market was 8.6 per cent higher than in April 2012.

David Marshall, business analyst with ESPC, said:

“Over the last 18 months or so we’ve seen an upturn in buyer activity and this was the case again in April. We’re starting to see first time buyers and buy to let investors come back to the market due largely to an improvement in affordability over the last few years. There are also a number of buyers who started saving back in 2008 who now have the deposits they need in place to allow them to get on the property ladder.

“We are still seeing, in most cases, buyers succeeding in negotiating selling prices that are below the Home Report valuation. About 75 per cent of homes sold during the last three months were bought for less than their valuation, with buyers paying an average of 5.3 per cent below valuation to secure their new home. At the lower end of the market sellers are typically accepting slightly lower offers, with properties valued at less than £100,000 selling for an average of 8.2 per cent below their original valuation.”

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