City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

ESPC Sees Annual Edinburgh House Price Rise of 5.9%

By edg - Posted on 07 April 2010

Looking to Leith from Calton Hill

House prices are continuing to show an annual increase across most of East Central Scotland, according to figures for the first quarter of 2010 from the Edinburgh Solicitors' Property Centre (ESPC).

The average price of an Edinburgh home now stands at £207,420, up 5.9%, from £195,895, during the same period a year ago.

The average price of a property sold across the region during the first three months was £193,207, 6.9% higher than during the same period in 2009. The ESPC reported that the number of homes selling in East Central Scotland also rose from less than 1,300 during the first quarter of 2009 to almost 1,400 in 2010, although it said sales remained some way below levels witnessed over much of the last decade.

The number of properties coming onto the market showed a substantial increase compare to 2009. Over 3,000 properties were made available for sale during the first three months of the year – almost double the number recorded in the first quarter of 2009.

David Marshall, business analyst with ESPC, said he expected to see improving market activity throughout 2010: “We've seen a significant increase in activity, particularly on the supply side, during the first few months of the year. It's worth bearing in mind that the flow of properties to the market over the same period last year was disrupted following the introduction of Home Reports. Now there are more sellers showing a willingness to test the market than a year ago. Sales have shown a more modest increase to this point, but we're definitely seeing clear signs of increasing activity amongst buyers."

Edinburgh Housing picture

The average Edinburgh house price increase of 5.9% annually was on a rising number of sales, from 818 during the first quarter of 2009 to 899 this year.

Some of the fastest annual growth was in Marchmont and Bruntsfield where the average price of a two-bedroom flat rose by 16.2% to £258,106.

The ESPC commented that this rise largely offset a corresponding decrease in the area in 2009, with prices almost unchanged when compared to levels witnessed in the first quarter of 2008.

Although most areas saw prices rise, the average value of a four-bedroom detached property in Edinburgh‟s suburbs fell by 11.7% - from £417,292 in the first quarter of 2009 to £368,298 this year.

This decrease took prices back in line with levels witnessed prior to the credit crunch in early 2007.

David Marshall commented: “Typically in a city where prices are static overall you will see some volatility within districts in an individual period, with some areas seeing rises and others reporting falls. We've seen some slightly larger increases in some cases than may have been anticipated, but with more properties now coming onto the market inflation should cool as we move forward. Prices for larger properties continued to rise throughout much of 2008 and 2009, but we're now seeing values here return to 2007 levels, in line with the rest of the market.”

The Lothians

East Lothian is proving to be one of the latest property hot spots with a 16.7% annual rise taking the average price of a property to £210,592. This marked the third consecutive quarter when the average price had exceeded £200,000.

“Some of the increase has been due to a rise in the number of larger properties selling," explained David Marshall, "but even when looking at properties of similar size, values in East Lothian are still showing an increase. The average two-bedroom property here sold for £145,792 in the first quarter of 2010, 10% up on last year, while the average price of a four-bedroom property rose by a more modest 2.5% to £312,746."

Marshall continued: "Since the downturn in the financial markets in 2007, prices in East Lothian have shown a high degree of resilience. It has remained popular with buyers despite the economic climate. Many of the reasons for demand in the area remaining the same as they always have. Excellent amenities, good local schools and improving commuter links to Edinburgh all mean that there is still strong demand for quality housing in the area. This rate of price increase is unlikely to continue for a prolonged period, but growth has remained strong over the last two years.”

Elsewhere, a 5.1% year-on-year rise in West Lothian took the average selling price of a home to £163,355, while a drop of 1.2% in Midlothian took the average house price to £161,618.

Marshall concluded: “West Lothian and Midlothian have not witnessed the same level of growth as their neighbours to the east, but by and large prices in these areas have held firm over the last year and a half and it is likely this pattern of stability will continue in the months ahead.”