HOUSE prices in Morningside and Merchiston are rising more quickly than anywhere else in the Capital, according to new figures.
The data from the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC) shows that, between May and July this year, the average purchase value for a two-bedroom flat in those areas was just under £290,000 – an 18.3 per cent increase on the same period in 2014.
This compares to fall of 0.6 per cent across Edinburgh as a whole to £224,604.
The figures have also revealed wide variation in different parts of the city.
While districts such as Morningside, Gorgie and Chesser are enjoying double-digit rises, areas including Portobello, Currie and Juniper Green have suffered steep falls.
Liberton and Gilmerton saw a prices slump by 22 per cent.
Morningside community leaders said the price rise in their district was “not a surprise” but voiced concern over whether homes would be affordable for first-time buyers and young families.
Steve Gregory, secretary at Morningside Community Council, said: “I was under the impression that prices generally in Edinburgh were rising.
“If the increase is in certain areas, that’s interesting. The fact our area is one does not surprise me – it’s a great place to live. The downside is that, as properties become more and more expensive, it becomes much more difficult – for first-time buyers particularly – to get houses. It’s a pity so many people are priced out of the market.”
The figures have also confirmed that overall demand in east-central Scotland is continuing to rise strongly, with the number of homes sold increasing by 4.1 per cent.
And more than 60 per cent of properties are achieving their Home Report valuation, indicating the market is still in favour of the seller as fewer houses are made available for purchase.
ESPC leaders also said the data suggested the impact of the Scottish Government’s new land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) had begun to wear off. They stressed, however, that it would be “some time” before the long-term effects of the charge are known.
Maria Botha-Lopez, ESPC business analyst, said: “This month’s house price report shows that this is the second three-month rolling period where we are seeing average selling prices at about the same level as they were this time last year.
“It highlights the impact that new builds and the Help to Buy scheme has had on the existing property market – when existing properties are competing with new builds.”