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Scottish house prices were still “edging up” in December, says Your Move

Prices keep “edging up” in Scotland, increasing 0.2% in December, according to the latest Your Move/Acadata house price index released today.

The price of an average home has risen £408, bringing the average price to £172,204. Overall that leaves the average price in Scotland £3,687 up on the same time last year, and annual growth in prices at 2.2%.

Scotland still trails the 3.6% annual growth in England and Wales as a whole, however, but is outperforming Wales (2.1%), the North East (where prices were flat over 2016), and London (1.3%). The market has largely seen steady growth since the spike in anticipation of the introduction of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in April 2015 and the subsequent fall in prices.

“Scotland’s market continues to make steady progress, not hitting the highs of some other parts of the UK, but also missing the lows. It enters the new year in a good place,” said Christine Campbell, Your Move’s managing director in Scotland.

Key findings of the report, Your Move/Acadata say:

  • Scotland has largely escaped the price drops seen at the top of the market in England
  • In Scotland, prices in the top eleven local authorities (out of 32) have modest growth of £2,100, or 1% with the most expensive area – East Renfrewshire – seeing prices increase 11.5% annually to reach £252,926 at the end of December (overtaking Edinburgh). The only falls have been recorded in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City (both down 4%, annually)
  • Lower priced property has outperformed the top of the market growing 1.9%. The rise is supported by solid increases in areas such as West Dunbartonshire (up 7.1%) and Clackmannanshire (up 6.1%). The cheapest three local authorities have all seen small dips in value over the last year with Na h-Eileanan Siar (the cheapest area with prices averaging £105,376) down 0.2%, prices in North Ayrshire fell 5.9%, and Inverclyde down 9.4%, making it the lowest performing area nationally on an annual basis
  • Scotland’s mid-market has been driving house price growth over the year. At the top of it, the Shetland Islands saw average prices surge 10.9% in December due to some high value sales. That saw a new peak on the islands of £163,997 and pushed price growth there to 13.2% annually. Argyll and Bute, again swayed by higher value sales, has also seen double-digit growth (10.6%). However, mid market performance also reflects solid growth in prices in areas such as Glasgow City (up 5.9%, annually), neighbouring South Lanarkshire (5.7%) and Dundee City (up 5.1%)
  • Latest transaction data from the ONS, meanwhile, suggests that the cut in interest rates to 0.25% in August has provided a boost to the market. Transactions for September were up 10% on the previous month and were 9% higher than September 2015. With 9,352 properties sold, the total was the highest for the month since 2007

Alan Penman, business development manager for Walker Fraser Steele, one of Scotland’s oldest firms of chartered surveyors and part of the LSL group of companies, said: “Scotland has weathered the uncertainty of 2016 remarkably well, supported by solid mid-market performance. The relatively modest growth belies an underlying strength, which is now less dependent on the relatively small number of high value sales that can sway the average figures.”

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