Edinburgh property market at its hottest since credit crunch

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THE Capital’s property market is at its hottest since the credit crunch, a new report claims.

More homes in the city are being put up for sale and more people are looking to buy.

Warners Solicitors & Estate Agents said activity among both buyers and sellers was at record levels and showing few signs of slowing down despite Brexit.

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Between January and March, the firm said it recorded over 250 property sales – an increase of over 40 per cent compared to the same period in 2018 – and brought almost 300 properties to the market.

For Sale signs can be seen on Abercromby Place, Edinburgh. Pic: Toby WilliamsFor Sale signs can be seen on Abercromby Place, Edinburgh. Pic: Toby Williams
For Sale signs can be seen on Abercromby Place, Edinburgh. Pic: Toby Williams

David Marshall, operations director with Warners, said: “There had been a feeling that activity in the local property market would be subdued in the early part of 2019 as people were expected to wait and see the outcome of Brexit negotiations before deciding to buy or sell. This has not been borne out in reality.

“The rise in the number of homes coming onto the market that we have seen has been the greatest improvement in the market over the last two years.

“In 2016 and 2017 many people were having to delay selling their own home because they couldn’t find a property that they wanted to buy.

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“As more homes have become available it has made this problem far less common. 
Buyers are more often able to find a home that they want, while most sellers are still able to sell their properties quickly.”

He said throughout 2016 and 2017, a significant shortage of homes for sale across Edinburgh and the Lothians had led to multiple buyers competing to secure properties, which meant that buyers found themselves having to bid well in excess of the Home Report valuation in order to be successful.

The market began to see a steady improvement last year, with Warners observing an 11 per cent rise in the number of new property listings compared to 2017.

Supply improved further in the first quarter of this year with more sellers willing to take the plunge and get their home onto the market.

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Mr Marshall said as a result, the premiums buyers were now having to pay were lower than in recent years, with the average premium paid over the Home Report valuation now 3.4 per cent, down from 6.9 per cent in the first three months of 2018.

He said: “With the pressure on buyers having eased, house price inflation has also come back down to more manageable levels.”

Latest figures from ESPC show the average house price in Edinburgh rose by 1.8 per cent during the first quarter, though one and two bedroom flats in popular parts of the Capital have seen prices soar.

Mr Marshall said: “The levels of inflation we are now seeing are much more sustainable over the longer term so this is good news for the health of the market and, as we move forward, we would expect to see inflation continue in the region of one to three per cent for much of 2019.”