Slump bucks city price trend

Now is a good time for first time buyers in the city. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Now is a good time for first time buyers in the city. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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property prices in some parts of the city have crashed by nearly £40,000 despite average levels increasing across the Capital.

Edinburgh has seen a three per cent rise in average house prices compared with the same time last year, according to new figures.

But owners of two-bedroom homes in Stockbridge and Comely Bank have seen prices tumble by 15 per cent over the past 12 months, with up to £37,000 being wiped off their value.

Estate agents said the findings did not reflect long-term prospects, while first-time buyers were urged to make the most of more affordable prices.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, whose ward covers Stockbridge, said: “I expected it to be similar [to other areas of Edinburgh]. Stockbridge is very popular and prices are high compared to other areas of the city.

“I was reading in the press that the number of first-time buyers is rising and they may be going to areas that are more affordable. Stockbridge is seen as quite an expensive place to buy. In some ways [the price drop] makes it more affordable to move to Stockbridge.”

The Capital overall is bucking the trend compared with the rest of Scotland, which has seen house prices fall by almost four per cent over the year.

The average city property sold for £226,637 in that time period, up from £219,530. On Leith Walk and Easter Road, prices jumped by more than ten per cent from £99,200 to £109,800, according to the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC).

David Marshall, business analyst with ESPC, said: “We’ve seen a fairly consistent pattern so far this year, with the number of homes selling higher than in previous years. In most cases we are seeing the average house price heading back to 2010 levels.

“Because the number of homes selling is still below ‘normal’ market levels, you can see some volatility in figures when you drill down to a specific district and property type.

“In this case you see a drop in Stockbridge and Comely Bank – and a similar rise in Leith Walk and Easter Road – but we wouldn’t expect either of these to be reflective of long-term trends in the area.”

Steven Currie, of property firm Murray and Currie, said more homeowners were opting to rent out properties they were unable to sell, and warned that bleak financial reports had slowed the market.

He said: “With more sensationalist headlines coming out of Europe surrounding the euro and more wrongdoings from UK banks, confidence in investing or buying residential property by means of a mortgage is pretty low.

“Therefore, we have bolstered our volume of properties available to let from a second wave of new landlords who simply can’t sell or who actually are not even bothering to attempt to sell as getting your property to market and the costs involved [are high].

“Therefore, an instant income via a strong monthly rental seems more attractive.”