Central Edinburgh house prices rocket 26 per cent -ESPC

Paul Hilton

The average price of a house in Edinburgh, Fife and the Lothians has risen by 18 per cent in the last 12 months, while prices in the centre of Edinburgh rocketed by 26 per cent over the same period, according to the latest House Price Report from Capital estate agents ESPC.

The new figures show positive year on year growth across the market, with the number of homes sold increasing by 16 per cent and the average selling price increasing by 18 per cent to £224,177.

In the Capital, properties within the city centre, and two bedroom flats in the Marchmont and Bruntsfield areas, saw the sharpest annual increases in average selling prices at 26 per cent.

According to the figures from ESPC, the average property price in the City of Edinburgh rose by 22 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2014.

Additionally, Dunfermline experienced a healthy average price increase of 20 per cent year on year.

However not all regions reported increases in price, with the average in Midlothian dropping by 2 per cent to rest at a median of £158,505 in the three months to April.

The number of new homes brought to market between the months of February and April has increased by 3 per cent annually, the smallest increase in the past year.

The percentage of sales achieving their Home Report valuation in the same period rose from 46% a year ago to 51 per cent in April.

Explaining the figures in light of recent tax changes, ESPC CEO Paul Hilton said: “Since the introduction of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) on 1 April 2015, replacing Stamp Duty, we saw a spike in the amount of properties over £300,000 coming on to the market at the start of 2015, and a similar spike in sales for the month of March as people took advantage of the lower tax bill at this end of the market.

“However, with the ratio of properties over £300,000 returning to normal levels, the average monthly property price for Edinburgh is now £226,144, which still represents a 5.7 per cent increase compared to the previous year.

“Going forward, we shall see if there is an increase in movement of more affordable properties under £145,000 that will now fall under the nil rate tax band, and likewise those under £333,000 that will benefit from a lower tax bill.

“Market conditions are more favourable for sellers than has been the case for a number of years, and this is reflected in the increase in percentage of sales where Home Report valuation is achieved, and in quicker selling times.

“Ideally, an equal balance between properties brought to the market verses those sold is a good stabiliser for the economy, with a healthy balance allowing both buyers and sellers to benefit from steady movement up and down the ladder.”

Mr Hilton added: “With the Conservatives winning by a majority vote in the recent election and confirmed as the new Government, in the short term we don’t anticipate the outcome will have a huge impact on the market in Edinburgh, Fife and the Lothians. However, it will be an interesting time to see which policies are taken forward and if they will affect the property landscape over the longer term, especially in light of SNP winning 56 of the 59 seats available, there will be a push for further devolved powers for Scotland.”

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