Lothian house prices fall as Scots sales rise

More homes are being sold, but average house prices have fallen.'Picture: Robert Perry

More homes are being sold, but average house prices have fallen.'Picture: Robert Perry

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RESIDENTIAL property sales across Scotland have risen sharply, but prices in most parts of the Lothians have fallen, as real estate agencies heralded signs of recovery in the market.

The total volume of sales north of the Border grew by 8.1 per cent from April to June compared to the same period last year based on figures released in the latest quarterly report from Registers of Scotland.

The number of sales in Edinburgh rose by 11.1 per cent to 2259 for the quarter, while transactions in Midlothian soared from 258 to 323 – a 25.2 per cent increase. Sales in East Lothian rose a modest 0.5 per cent to 397.

However, average house prices across much of the Lothians did not match volume increases, with the Capital down 3.5 per cent to £212,895 and East Lothian falling 1.6 per cent to £192,991.

Midlothian bucked the trend, with the house price rising 3.2 per cent to £180,527. West Lothian was the worst local performer, with sale numbers down 2.8 per cent and house prices down 6.1 per cent.

Flat sales in the Capital enjoyed an “extremely positive” upturn after recording a 16.5 per cent increase compared with last year.

Experts said this summer had also seen a number of properties in Edinburgh selling for more than their asking price.

Estate agents CKD Galbraith said more confidence is returning to the market.

Head of residential property Simon Brown said: “We have seen more stability and confidence throughout the country. Both buyers and sellers appear to be comfortable with where the market currently stands.”

Across Scotland, there were 1491 more sales, compared with the same period last year, worth more than £3 billion.

Sales volume increased by 8.1 per cent on a year ago, while the value climbed from £2.8bn. The increases came as the average price of property fell by 0.3 per cent over the year to £153,102, RoS said.

Blair Stewart, partner in Strutt and Parker’s Edinburgh office, said: “Our figures show the level of transactions in Edinburgh City is significantly up compared to this time last year.

“This may, in some part, be due to a late spring market. June and July have been marked by far more activity, and some successful closing dates, than we would expect at this time of year.

“This is having a positive effect on momentum and I am optimistic about the 
coming months as a result.” Rettie & Co’s head of research, Dr John Boyle, said: “These latest statistics show that the housing market in Scotland is now in recovery mode after a significant fall in activity over 2007-09. Improving economic activity levels, bank lending and new build activity is helping the market.”