Edinburgh property sales up 30 per cent in a year,

The market for one-bed homes is beginning to move again. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The market for one-bed homes is beginning to move again. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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A bit battered around the edges but scrubs up well, handy for the best Scotland has to offer, comes with long history of ups and a few downs but on the whole, finally back in business.

For a while Edinburgh’s property market was looking a shade sluggish – it certainly gave even the most eloquent estate agent’s selling skills a challenge when it came to snaring buyers and encouraging sellers.

But just as the summer weather started to heat up so, it seems, has the property scene.

New figures from the Registers of Scotland show sales in Edinburgh over the past three months have jumped by 30.6 per cent on last year’s figures.

Houses here achieved better prices than anywhere else in the country: the city is Scotland’s highest value market with total sales of just under £670 million between April and June – that’s up 39.4 per cent compared with the same quarter last year.

It is also, however, the most expensive place to buy a home – with the average detached house in Edinburgh setting buyers back £363,192.

The latest figures come days after online estate agency eMoov.co.uk declared Edinburgh the hottest place to buy property in the UK, beating London and Glasgow.

It sounds like we’re racing towards a possible return to the big property boom of a few years ago – when prices soared and trying to bid for a house meant picking a large figure and doubling it.

David Marshall, business development manager at ESPC, insists there’s no need to panic, we’re still a long way from the spiralling house inflation of the mid-2000s.

“Things are generally pointing upwards but it’s worth remembering that the improvements we are seeing in the number of sales comes from a relatively low base.

“The number of homes being bought and sold over the last three or four months is still roughly half what it was at the peak of the market.”

The ESPC’s figures back up the theory that there is increasing light at the end of the tunnel. Its house price survey from June reported a 32 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of homes sold across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife, with more than half selling for at least their Home Report valuation.

And, it added, more sellers were gradually arriving on the market – ten per cent up on the same time last year – showing growing confidence.

According to Mr Marshall, the liveliest area is the one which was hardest hit by the impact of 2008’s financial meltdown and banking crisis.

“There has been a sharp increase in sales of one-bedroom flats – up 55 per cent. However, those figures are mostly offsetting the decline from three or four years ago.”

News that the once almost stagnant one-bedroom flat market is moving again is particularly welcome for seller Amy Walker, 31, who is about to put her top-floor flat in Hillside on the market.

Bought three years ago as a first home with husband Rich, 32, the couple are now preparing to sell it for offers over £175,000. With the countdown now under way to moving into a four-bedroom home in East Trinity, not long ago the hope of selling their flat in time might have been the stuff of nightmares.

“We’re pretty confident it will sell fairly quickly,” says Amy, who works as a senior brand and strategy executive with ESPC. “Houses on our street have been selling really quickly – within a month, some within a couple of weeks.”

The couple’s new home bucked an increasing trend for homes selling just above their Home Report valuation – they snapped their new property up for just below it.

“We had been looking for a while but the type of property we wanted just wasn’t coming up. We had to be patient.”

According to residential property specialist Blair Stewart, of Strutt & Parker, that is a frustrating problem for buyers and agents.

“People are looking for fresh and new properties but there’s not enough choice,” he says. “The sellers perceive the referendum to be a problem, they are sitting on their hands whereas buyers are positive and they are ready to buy. There is a lack of supply which can drive up prices.”

On the plus side, there have been major deals struck in the past few months, he adds. “The real prime hot spots are the New Town and the West End,” he adds. “We have sold ten properties at over a million pounds each since May and one the sold close to £4m – we’ve not seen anything that good since 2007.”

According to his colleague at Strutt & Parker, Malcolm Leslie, who deals with residential properties outside the city centre, the upswing is leading to some families considering properties further afield.

“Within 25 miles of Edinburgh there is a plethora of four- and five-bedroomed houses for sale, and not one over £800,000. Moving out of a city is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to get a
bigger house.”

COSTLY BUSINESS

FANCY a detached house? It’s more expensive to buy an average detached house in Edinburgh than anywhere else in Scotland.

1. Edinburgh: £363,192

2. East Refrewshire: £356,705

3. East Lothian: £334,230

4. Aberdeen: £331,613

5. East Dunbartonshire: £324,771.

The Scottish average price for detached house is £238,210. In Midlothian the average sale price for a detached house is £252,452 and in West Lothian it is £221,223.

New figures reveal buying an average semi-detached house is dearer in Edinburgh than anywhere else in Scotland too.

1. Edinburgh: £273,770

2. Aberdeen: £249,336

3. East Renfrewshire: £191,438

4. East Lothian: £184,072

5. Aberdeenshire: £180,749

The Scottish average price for a semi-detached home is £150,458. The average sale price in Midlothian is £157,657 and in West Lothian it is £124,847.

The average sale price for a flat in Edinburgh is the highest in the country.

1. Edinburgh: £194,197

2. Aberdeen: £160,761

3. East Renfrewshire: £159,661

4. East Dunbartonshire: £137,035

5. East Lothian: £136,615

The average price for a flat in Scotland is £126,844. In Midlothian it is £104,875 and West Lothian £92,024.