WEST Lothian has been named as Scotland’s newest property hotspot after a record rise in house sales.
The number of homes being sold in Bathgate, Broxburn, Livingston, Linlithgow and the surrounding areas shot up by 23.1 per cent in the last quarter, 17 per cent faster than the rest of the country.
Figures from the Registers of Scotland also show the value of property sales in West Lothian rose by more than 30 per cent to £148 million. Experts said the area had grown in popularity thanks to rising house prices in the Capital.
West Lothian property expert Sean MacMillan, from estate agent Aberdein Considine, said the area was becoming increasingly popular with househunters despite Broxburn being nominated two years ago for the Plook-on-the-Plinth trophy for the most dismal town in the 2013 Carbuncle Awards.
He said: “It’s no real surprise that West Lothian continues its steady increase in both volume of property sales and in sale prices when considered in the wider context of the central belt housing market.
“Recent increases in house prices in Glasgow and more importantly Edinburgh have had a significant effect on the West Lothian market.
“Over a quarter of workers living in West Lothian work in Edinburgh. If one considers that the average price of a detached home in Edinburgh has risen by 4.5 per cent from the previous quarter to almost £400,000 and the average flat in Edinburgh now costs almost £200,000 it is perhaps no wonder that more and more people in the Capital are considering the benefits which come with living in West Lothian where they can get a great deal more ‘bang for their buck’.”
He said according to West Lothian Council, residents were now within an hour’s drive of 60 per cent of Scotland’s population and 54 per cent of all Scottish businesses.
Across Scotland, a total of 28,019 properties were registered between July and September, the highest number of sales since the first quarter of 2008-09. West Lothian recorded the highest percentage rise in the volume of sales, with 905 residential sales. The highest figure was in Edinburgh, which rose 9.6 per cent to 3530 individual sales.
Edinburgh was the largest overall market, with sales of over £805m, an increase of 6.2 per cent on the previous year. House prices in the Capital, however, dipped 3.1 per cent from the same quarter last year to an average £228,240.
Midlothian was up 3.4 per cent to £184,550 and West Lothian up 6.8 per cent to £163,941.
The largest decrease in house prices was in East Lothian, where the average was down 4.4 per cent to £213,870.
Michelle Grant, investment director at Grant Property, said: “It is also not uncommon to be bidding against up to eight to ten people for a property in sought-after areas of the Capital.”