A SHORTAGE of homes for sale fuelled a house price surge of more than nine per cent across the Capital in the final three months of last year compared to the same period in 2016, new figures have revealed.
The latest analysis from the ESPC shows that in Edinburgh the average selling price is now £253,598 – up 9.5 per cent year-on-year.
And across east central Scotland, the average selling price jumped by 7.3 per cent to £234,757 between October and December 2017, bucking the overall UK trend of decreasing property values.
ESPC experts said the market was being driven by a lack of available properties, particularly in desirable hot-spots, with multiple buyers in competition with one another to secure purchases.
Some of the most popular areas and types of property in Edinburgh include two bedroom flats in Morningside and Merchiston - up 17.3 per cent year-on-year - and two bedroom flats in Trinity, which are up 25.6 per cent.
While the time to sell is currently down to 18 days in Edinburgh, the types of property selling the quickest, at 14 days, are one bedroom flats in Gorgie and Dalry, and two bedroom flats in Portobello and Joppa.
ESPC’s business analyst, Maria Botha-Lopez said: “Throughout 2017 we have seen faster selling times, an increase in the percentage of properties being marketed as ‘offers over’ and an increase in average selling prices, particularly for two bedroom flats in the most desirable areas of Edinburgh.
“This is indicative of the trend we have seen for some time, of a shortage of properties and increased demand, which drive up the average selling prices.”
Ms Botha-Lopez said the increase in selling prices within the Capital could be attributed to a 2.5 per cent decrease in the number of homes sold over the last three months, and a 3.1 per cent drop in the number of homes being marketed for sale.
“While Edinburgh city centre flats are proving popular, three bedroom houses in popular family areas like Blackhall, Silverknowes and Balerno and Currie have stabilised over the last three months, with slight decreases compared with the sharp increases in selling price earlier in the year,” she added.
“Similarly, properties in Dunfermline have decreased by 1.7 per cent over the last three months, and with an average selling price of £160,022, they are significantly more affordable than properties in Edinburgh or East Lothian.”
Councillor Gavin Corbett, finance spokesman for the city’s Greens, has criticised the latest figures and said they would be “devastating” for those already struggling to get on the housing ladder.
He said: “Edinburgh is already the least affordable city for housing in Scotland and inflation-busting price rises just make matters worse.
“As someone who has lived in Shandon/Polwarth for 25 years the inflation there is painful to see. The impact is felt most by younger households for whom owning a house in the city is simply a distant dream. But it has a serious effect on the city as a whole: on transport, for example, with more people having to commute in from afar; and on the city economy, with vital jobs like care work going unfilled as workers on care wages cannot afford to live here. That is why the Greens want to see developers required to increase the proportion of new projects sold or let at below market prices. We want to see the city’s 5,000 empty homes returned to use.”