MORE homes in Edinburgh have been sold at their asking price than at any point since the property crash in 2008, experts have claimed.
The new figures, released by Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC), suggest a buoyant market with demand outstripping supply and moving in favour of sellers.
In the three months to May, almost 60 per cent of homes sold in Edinburgh achieved a selling price above or equal to their valuation – a 33 per cent rise on last year.
The number of homes sold across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife rose by 43 per cent, while the number of homes going on to the market increased by 11 per cent.
Average house prices have risen by 2.9 per cent.
David Marshall, business development manager at ESPC, said the results indicate an influx of buyers and “demand rising faster than supply”.
“There are number of factors coming into play – confidence certainly is a big part of it,” he said.
“The economy as a whole has outperformed expectations over the last 12 months. People feel more secure in their jobs and are starting to see genuine improvement in the economy – that has a knock-on effect on the property market.”
The availability of mortgages had also improved, he said, while buyers who began saving for deposits at the height of the crash in 2008-9 were now in a position to bid for homes.
He said: “There hasn’t been much change in the average house price.
“Edinburgh has probably outperformed other areas but you are seeing sales increasing in most areas of Scotland, just probably not as fast as in the Capital.
“I think what you are likely to see, certainly in the coming months and the next year, is that the number of home sales will continue to improve.
“As you see sales improve, that will lead to more sellers coming back into the market as they see for sale boards going up and coming down in relatively short order.”
Sales of smaller properties have seen the sharpest increase. The number of one-bedroom homes sold between March and May was up almost 51 per cent.
However, there was substantial growth across the board, with sales of larger properties more than 40 per cent higher than a year ago.
Graham Birse, director of the Edinburgh Institute at Edinburgh Napier University, said other areas of Edinburgh were now catching up with the hotspots of Corstorphine, Morningside and Stockbridge.
“The figures are welcome – they are a sign of a more general recovery in the economy, which is good news,” he said.
“But we need to be vigilant because although this is a boon for property owners, it’s not necessarily welcome for first-time buyers or for people looking to access Edinburgh for the first time who are from outside.
“We need to make sure we ease the constraints by building affordable homes, and new homes on sites in and around the city boundary.”