ESPC Sees Flat Property Market In 2010
The average house price in Edinburgh rose by 2.8% annually last month, according to figures from the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC). The average price of a property sold during February stood at £200,126, up from £194,678 during the same month last year. The rise marked the sixth time in the last seven months during which an annual increase had been recorded in the Capital.
The ESPC says that there was a quiet start to the year with extreme weather conditions played a part in deterring buyers and sellers, but February saw a significant increase in activity. Over 250 sales were completed during the last month, more than 20% higher than in February 2009. Meanwhile over 700 properties were brought to the market for sale – more than twice the number in February last year – as more sellers were tempted back to the market.
David Marshall, business analyst with ESPC, says February reflected the housing market's “steady recovery", with prices holding and activity rising.
"The upturn in properties coming onto the market is particularly heartening, as an increase in supply will help to prevent house price inflation reaching unsustainable levels.”
While the ESPC sees activity likely continuing to increase during 2010, it expects prices to remain largely unchanged over the course of the year.
David Marshall explained: “While we have seen substantial improvement in the market over the last six to twelve months, it’s important to put this in some sort of perspective. The growth we have seen has come from a very low base. Lending criteria remain a constraint for many buyers, especially those looking to get on the ladder for the first time, so people shouldn’t expect property values to rise markedly during 2010. This should not be a major issue as feedback from ESPC member firms is that buyers and sellers today are generally approaching the market with realistic expectations on property prices."
The Nationwide recently reported that UK house prices fell month on month by 1% to an average £161,320 and the Halifax House Price index recorded a 1.5% fall to an average £166,857 for the same period. Snowy weather and expiry of stamp duty holiday were seen as factors in the drop.
"Too early to say whether February’s drop is start of a new trend," concluded the Nationwide.