Scottish house sales 9pc higher than 2011

Robyn Hall

August 15, 2012

Prices in Midlothian have risen £20,000 in last year while prices in Edinburgh are up almost £13,000 over last 12 months.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, part of LSL, said: “The Scottish housing market is climbing the ladder to recovery rung by rung.

“Despite the impact of the Jubilee bank holidays, house sales so far this year are 9% higher than in the equivalent period last year.

“The fact activity has increased during a year when the economy has been weak bodes well for the future, and is testament to the underlying strength of the housing market and pent up demand.”

Although bank lending is still in the doldrums Sexton said it was evidently more buyers have been able to access mortgages than in 2011.

He added: “More buyers have rolled up their sleeves and built the big deposits banks require to access affordable loans, which has eased the gridlock in the market and jump-started activity. An air of cautious optimism surrounds the Scottish housing market at the moment. Slowly but surely the building blocks of recovery are being put in place.

“But there is still a long way to before the market drags itself out the hole dug for it by the financial crisis. Sales are still at half they level they were before 2008. Recoveries from recessions caused by debt are always fragile, and a severe downturn in the eurozone or a sharp squeeze on the credit available to banks could still shatter much of the progress the market has made.

“Despite the deposits being saved, the lack of loans to first time buyers is a huge roadblock to a complete recovery.

Prices are erratic on a regional basis. Areas like Edinburgh and other parts of Midlothian, which have pockets of wealthier buyers, have seen prices rise considerably over the past year.

Sexton said: “These areas are full of buyers with more equity, so more people are finding it easier to get a mortgage. This is pushing demand above supply and causing prices to rise. On the flip side, less affluent areas with high unemployment have seen activity drop away, which has dragged down prices.”

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