BUYERS keen to live beside the seaside have sent house prices soaring in Portobello and Joppa.
The average price of two-bedroom flats rose by 38.3 per cent to £206,055 in the three months between March and May, compared to the same period last year, according to new figures from the ESPC.
And the median selling price, which strips out inflated increases driven by sales of high-value properties, has seen a similar increase, to £191,000.
Other areas to record big increases include Polwarth, Liberton and the New Town.
The average selling price of all properties in Edinburgh decreased by 2.2 per cent over the same period – however, experts put that down to the market readjusting following a rush of sales ahead of the introduction of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax last April.
The ESPC, which represents agents marketing up to 90 per cent of property sales in Edinburgh and the Lothians, said “well-presented”, traditional flats on streets such as Argyle Crescent, Joppa Terrace, John Street and James Street had pushed prices higher – while a widening gap between supply and demand in Portobello and Joppa had also inflated the amount buyers are willing to pay. The report said: “These areas are close to the beach and the promenade, and offer a good quality of life with a pleasant, community feel, while also having good transport links to Edinburgh city centre.”
ESPC business analyst Maria Botha-Lopez said: “Over the last three months we have seen a high increase in average selling prices for flats in Portobello and Joppa, an area that is close to the coast while also retaining good transport links.”
She added: “In contrast with the demand seen recently in areas like Leith, there is less volume of properties for sale in these coastal suburbs which could contribute to their higher selling prices.”
Andrew Stephen, partner at Edinburgh property firm Murray Beith Murray, said a recent newbuild development near Portobello prom had given the area a lift – however, ESPC house price reports do not include the sale of newbuilds.
He said: “A shortage of properties on the market in general is a common theme at the moment. I think people are looking at Joppa and Portobello, but maybe only after there being a lack of properties for sale in areas closer to the city centre. They also like what they have seen in terms of location and lifestyle, with it being near the beach and promenade.
“You do seem to get better value for money in this area, so people have been paying strong prices for properties.”
Robert Carroll, managing director of Mov8 Real Estate, said: “In our experience, properties in close proximity to the sea are always popular and, as we approach summer, their appeal increases significantly.
“However, it is probably more likely an increase in the proportion of larger, two-bedroom flats selling in the area is responsible for the increased average selling price rather than a surge in the number of property buyers who like to be able to leave their front door in a pair of Speedos.”