Summer sales surge for Scottish property market


The Scottish property market, and local East Central Scotland market, shows notable increases in sales and selling prices being achieved for a wide range of property types although there has been a decline in properties being listed on the open market which has increased buyer competition. With the latest data from ESPC and Registers of Scotland, we look into what this means for sellers and buyers.

What’s happening nationally?

The Registers of Scotland have today released statistics which confirm that house prices in Scotland continue to grow faster than the UK average. This has been the case since March 2019 and in all but two months since December 2017. The likely cause of this is the continuing fall of property prices in London, which is reflected in national statistics. It is worth noting that the average price of a property In London is £466,824 (more than three times the average price of a property in Scotland!).

In Scotland, all property types are showing an increase in average prices (in June 2019) when compared to the previous year. Terraced houses showed the biggest increase – rising by 2%.

The largest increase in Scotland in June 2019 is Stirling where the average price has increased by 6.4% compared to the previous year.

In June, the highest-priced area to purchase a property was Edinburgh, where the average price of a property is now £263,233.

You can find very detailed Registers of Scotland house price statistics here.

That is the national picture but let’s turn our attention to what is happening locally

Whilst national statistics are certainly interesting, what really matters the most is what is happening in your own local area. Even locally, Edinburgh is a patchwork of different local markets each with its own dynamics as is evidenced by the monthly ESPC house price reports.

Within Edinburgh, three bedroom houses in Blackhall, Davidsons Mains, Silverknowes, Cramond, Barnton and Cammo saw the biggest increase in average selling price, rising by 13.1% to £400,605 over the past three months compared to the same period last year. One bed flats in Abbeyhill and Meadowbank saw a 9.9% increase in average selling price, rising to £170,362.

The top selling property type was two-bedroom flats in Leith, closely followed by three bedroom houses in Dunfermline.

These statistics indicate a strong demand for a wide variety of properties in East Central Scotland – from one-bedroom flats to three bedroom+ houses.

From May to July 2019, the sales volume in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders increased by 8.2% compared to last year. Within Edinburgh alone, the sales volume rose by 9.5% compared to last year. This increase is due to a rising number of homes coming to market at the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019, helping to cater to some of the strong demand for suitable properties. However, the number of properties coming to market has decreased by 6.3% year-on-year and by 4.2% within Edinburgh.

What does this mean for sellers and buyers?

Jenna Spence, Operations Director at Neilsons Solicitors and Estate Agents, said:

“Buyer demand has continued to strengthen in 2019 and – coupled with a lack of properties coming to the market to meet the demand – the result is that excellent sales prices are being achieved for sellers. Rising sales prices and sales volumes indicate that it is a strong sales market just now in Edinburgh and East Central Scotland. The traditional spring boost for the property market has well and truly turned into a summer sales surge!

With interest rates remaining low at 0.75% it’s good news for borrowers however buyers will still find it tricky securing the property that they want (particularly first-time buyers) given the competition and lack of property supply to meet demand in this current market.

The challenge for buyers and sellers who are looking to sell and buy is that many do not wish to commit to sell their property until they find a suitable property to purchase and this reticence has led to stocks of property in the ESPC being substantially down on the same period last year and this in turn leads to further pressure on prices in the market.

Sellers have the option, therefore, of selling with a long entry date to give them time to purchase a property after an Offer is received for their own property.

Alternatively, many of our clients are getting the property ready to go on the market with marketing materials readily available but do not actually launch the property on the market until they find a suitable property to purchase.

In some cases, it is possible to convince the seller to accept your Offer “subject to sale of your own property. Given the fast selling times of ESPC member firms in East Central Scotland, this is a very popular option right now. Neilsons are securing Offers on properties in just 2-3 weeks on average right now if the property is well-presented for the sale, professionally marketed and accurately priced.

Solicitor Estate Agents in East Central Scotland like Neilsons and well-placed and equipped to help both sellers and buyers navigate this upward trajectory in prices and I would recommend anyone thinking of selling and/or buying to obtain professional and legal advice specific to your own individual circumstances on how best to proceed.

Are you thinking of selling and/or buying? Book your free consultation with Neilsons online here!