Jump in Lothians property sales prompts hope of market recovery

Lower prices are among factors thought to have helped drive increased sales
Lower prices are among factors thought to have helped drive increased sales
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THE number of homes sold across Edinburgh and the Lothians in the past six months has risen by almost 13 per cent.

Figures from the ESPC show the number of properties bought had risen by 12.8 on the previous year, showing signs of recovery in the property 
market.

According to the latest LSL/Acad Scotland house price index, the number of transactions carried out across Scotland from January to May this year was up 11 per cent on the same five months last year, although the figure was still significantly lower than early 2007 levels.

David Marshall, business analyst with the ESPC said: “A few things have contributed to the rise in the number of sales – partly prices are lower.

“We are starting to see a bit more willingness from those selling to accept a lower offer than the home report value.

“I’d expect to see a steady increase in sales ahead, there have been indications that people are starting to think a bit more seriously about moving house in the next few years.

“The one obvious note of caution is we are talking about an increase on a relatively low base.”

Edinburgh property solicitor Warners sold a total of 205 properties in April-June – 50 per cent up on the first quarter, when 136 properties were sold.

Estate agency partner Scott Brown said: “After a quiet April, which saw house sales down considerably on the
beginning of the year, the market is beginning to pick up.”

The stamp duty holiday, which saw first-time buyers exempt from the one per cent sales tax when buying a property priced between £125,000 and £250,000, ended in March.

New figures have shown mortgage lending is up by 24 per cent since April and with interest rates remaining at their lowest ever, more people are being motivated to buy.

Mr Brown added: “We are pleased to see that the end of the stamp duty holiday is not continuing to deter first-time buyers from purchasing.

“We suspect that this has a lot to do with current lending rates, which are more favourable than they have been.”

The average cost of a house in Scotland stood at £146,073 in May – down almost £200 on the previous month’s figure – with the average cost in the Capital now £217,803.