House Prices Continue to Rise in Scotland

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THE average house price in Scotland has risen by 3.4 per cent to £143,711 in a year despite a drop in the number of properties hitting the market, according to Registers of Scotland.

The typical Scottish home in July was worth 1.3 per cent more than the previous month, the UK House Price Index has found.

But Registers of Scotland noted a 16.8 per cent fall in the number of properties being sold in May, 2016 compared to the previous year which has been partly attributed to the slump in oil prices.

It has also been suggested a drop in house sales in the past year has coincided with introduction of last year’s stamp duty reform in Scotland, the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.

RoS said there had been a seven per cent rise in sales from April to May – a trend welcomed by Scots estate agent analysts.

There were 7,131 home sales in Scotland in May.

Faisal Choudhry, head of research for Savills estate agents in Scotland said: “We are encouraged by the seven percent monthly increase in the volume of sales, which shows that the overall Scottish residential market is adjusting to recent tax changes.

“However, the significant annual drop is mainly due to the sharp fall in activity in the Aberdeen area…”

Across the UK, the average house price was £216,750, which was an increase of 8.3 per cent on the year and 0.4 per cent up on the previous month.

The top local authority in Scotland, in terms of sales volumes, was the City of Edinburgh with 872 sales.

The biggest price increase over the year was in East Renfrewshire, where the average price increased by 10.7 percent to £216,382.

The biggest decrease was in the City of Aberdeen, where prices fell by 6.9 percent to £178,977.

A separate study by Your Move estate agents showed a three per cent annual house price rise in Scotland in the year to July, despite Brexit uncertainty and a slowdown in high value homes.

The estate agents said the impact of the vote to leave the EU remains difficult to evaluate.

Christine Campbell, Your Move managing director in Scotland, said: “We’ll have to wait another month or two to begin to see the real impact of Brexit, but the Scottish market has already well demonstrated its resilience. The long recovery in average prices continues and is increasingly being led by the more affordable areas, such as Glasgow, where growth looks to be robust.”

Meanwhile according to the new housing statistics published by the Scottish Government the number of new homes built by council and housing associations fell by almost a fifth last year. A total of 3,458 such properties were completed in 2015-16 – a drop of 18 per cent from the previous year’s total.

And some 12,396 homes were constructed by private housebuilding firms in 2015-16, a rise of 3 per cent, or 408 properties.

This brings the total for the year to the end of March 2016 to 12,396, which is 3 per cent (408 homes) higher than the 11,988 completions in the previous year.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart insisted good early progress was being made towards the Scottish Government’s target of building 50,000 affordable homes over the next five years.

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