Edinburgh prime housing market heads sales growth in Scotland

Taylor Scott International News

Estate agents in Scotland had expected to see a house price boom following the No vote in the independence referendum last September but this has not happened, it is claimed. However, there are some areas that are doing well, according to the annual Scottish Property Briefing report from Strutt & Parker. It says that the luxury new build market has definitely taken off in central Edinburgh and the firm forecasts continuing growth in this area. It also predicts a 4% to 5% growth in the £400,000 to £1 million mature markets, although selling properties over this price will continue to be challenging and there is likely to be 0% growth in this area. Last year there were 66 house sales of over £1 million in Edinburgh, which represented almost half of all Scottish properties in this range, of which Strutt & Parker sold almost 20% including one house at almost £4 million which is one of the Scottish capital's most expensive sales in recent years. According to Blair Stewart, who heads up the firm’s Edinburgh residential department, despite the new Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and continuing political uncertainty there are still many people willing to invest and live in the city. In the Country House market over the last year there has been a 27% increase in prime market transactions of £400,000 and over. Areas that have performed well have been those within commuting distance to Edinburgh, with a 50% increase in transaction numbers in Fife, a 69% increase in the Borders and an 85% increase in Midlothian. ‘The legacy of the Referendum continues to affect the prime country house market with continued uncertainty. Land and Buildings Transaction Tax will cause the top and middle of the prime market to readjust and capital values are expected to reduce by 2% to 4%,’ said Malcolm Leslie. ‘It is also expected that some would be buyers will make the most of their existing home by extending or renovating rather than moving home and incurring the increased tax. The quality of life that a Scottish country house can offer, together with the increasing value gap between southern England and rural Scotland, will encourage inward investment,’ he explained. ‘Finally I predicted that with the stability in the macro economic situation, the long term prospects for growth in the prime country house market look good,’ he added. There are two major factors affecting property prices in the UK, according to Stephanie McMahon, head of Strutt & Parker's research team. ‘Emerging countries with weak institutions has led to a flight of money from these markets to places such as the UK that has, for example, very strong property rights,’ she said. ‘Secondly, the population growth and rise in single person households leads to demand outstripping supply. However, the country as a whole is affected differently. Prices in London have risen by 35% since 2007, yet in Scotland it has fallen by 7%,’ she added. She pointed out that… Continue reading →

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