Scottish property market picks up

Sarah Davidson

September 19, 2012

Figures from LSL Acadametrics suggest house prices in Midlothian have risen £17,000 in the past 12 months while prices in Edinburgh are up £14,000 since July 2011.

The average house price in Scotland in July stood at £145,622, 0.3% less than in June and 0.5% lower than a year before.

There have been 1,100 more loans to new buyers so far this year than in the equivalent period last year. This has helped push up activity throughout the whole market, with July seeing 1,529 more sales than June.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, part of LSL, said: “While it isn’t all sunshine and roses just yet, first-timers in Scotland can at least take solace from the fact life is comparably better for them than their English and Welsh counterparts.

“It’s been easier for Scottish buyers to access mortgages this year, and, given we’re in the middle of a double-dip recession, it augurs well for the future. New buyers in England and Wales have to stump up £22,000 more on average than Scottish buyers to get a loan, which is a major reason why the Scottish first-timer market is moving more freely.”

First-time buyer numbers are at 46% of what they were before the 2008 financial crisis but Sexton said the MI New Home initiative was a welcome boon to the new build sector in Scotland, allowing some borrowers to access to up to 95% LTV loans.

He added: “Prices are more erratic on a regional basis. Areas like Midlothian, which have wealthier buyers, have seen prices rise considerably over the past 12 months. Buyers in these areas have more equity, so find it easier to access mortgage finance. The opposite is true for less affluent areas with high unemployment. Activity has fallen in these regions, which has pulled down prices.”

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