Property sales in Scotland increased by almost 5% year on year in the second quarter of 2016 but prices have fallen by 2.3% over the same period, according to the latest official data to be published.
Sales were up 4.9% to 25,760, the data from the Registers of Scotland shows, the highest volume of sales for this quarter since 2008/2009 with the average property price down to £164,326.
A breakdown of the figures show that the highest percentage rise in volume of sales was recorded in Argyll and Bute, with an annual increase of 24.5% compared with the same quarter the previous year. Edinburgh City recorded the highest volume of sales at 3,178, a rise of 8.6%.
The largest percentage fall in volume of sales was in Aberdeen City, which showed a drop of 19.5% to 1,063 residential sales compared to the same quarter last year.
The highest percentage fall was recorded in West Dunbartonshire, with an average price of £105,859, a fall of 12.7% compared with the same quarter the previous year while East Renfrewshire recorded the highest average at £241,364, an increase of 11.7% compared with the same quarter the previous year, which was also the largest percentage rise of all the local authorities over the year.
The total value of sales across Scotland registered in the quarter increased by 2.5% compared to the previous year to just over £4.2bn. The City of Edinburgh was the largest market with sales of £745.7m for the quarter, an increase of 7.1% on the previous year.
South Ayrshire recorded the highest increase in value with sales of £92.2m, an increase of 27.8% compared with the same quarter last year. Aberdeen City showed the largest decrease in market value, a decrease of 24.4% to £223.8m compared to the same quarter last year.
All property types showed a decrease in average house price in this quarter. Terraced properties showed the biggest decrease down 5.6% to £132,700. Detached, semidetached and flats saw decreases in average house prices of 3.7%, 0.8% and 4.0% respectively.
With the exception of detached properties, all property types showed an increase in sales volumes with flats showing the biggest increase at 11.2%. The volume of sales of detached properties decreased by 3.4%.
The rise in property sales in Scotland over the last quarter indicates that there is still confidence in the market, according to Michelle Grant, investment director of Grant Property.
‘From a price perspective we are surprised to see a decline. On the ground we are still seeing prime city centre properties in Glasgow and Edinburgh selling for between 10% to 20% over home report valuation,’ she added.
Simon Brown, partner and head of residential sales at CKD Galbraith, believes that the Scottish property market has remained resilient to political and economic changes despite the uncertainty of Brexit.
‘As a firm we have not experience any negative effects or hesitancy from buyers throughout the various localised markets that we operate in and have witnessed healthy levels of sales across the country. The market in general remains price sensitive and provided the property is priced correctly there is demand,’ he said.
‘Scotland remains an attractive place to live and we have witnessed a significant level of movement across the UK with particular interest from UK buyers looking to purchase in areas including Moray and Dumfries and Galloway as a lifestyle choice where property in these rural regions represents excellent value for money,’ he added.
CKD Galbraith’s sales figures for the second quarter reflect the national trend with the firm reporting a 17% increase in the volume of sales achieved in comparison to the same quarter last year. There was also an increase in the number of properties brought to the Scottish market by CKD Galbraith, up 19% in comparison to the first quarter of 2016.
The firm is also experiencing a significant level of movement across the UK with 53% of buyers coming from within Scotland, 41% of buyers coming from across the rest of the UK and the remaining 6% representing international buyers.