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Property prices in the Edinburgh City prime market rose for the fifth consecutive quarter between June and September despite a slowdown due to the referendum vote. Prices increased by 1.3% and are 4.9% higher on an annual basis and so far in 2014 transactions are 8% higher than a year ago, according to the latest report from real estate firm Knight Frank. Low stock levels and high demand are the main two characteristics which have typified the Edinburgh market so far this year and they have put upwards pressure on price. A snapshot of stock levels at the end of September reveals that there were 27% fewer properties available for sale than the same time last year. However, applicant numbers were 19% higher in 2014 to date compared to 2013 and viewings increased by 1% over the same time. According to Knight Frank, it is evidence of just how resilient the Edinburgh property market has been this year in spite of the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the referendum. Indeed, agents reported activity only noticeably slowed in the three week period before the vote. Since the result was announced activity has returned to more normal levels, suggesting that at least for now it is back to business as usual. The result means there is now a more certain environment for the property market to function and it is expected that this, combined with growing consumer confidence, should act as a further boost for the city’s already robust prime market. ‘While the flurry of activity that was predicted in the event of a No vote hasn’t materialised yet, we have dealt with a number of buyers and vendors who put off making decisions until after the vote,’ said Edward Douglas-Home, head of Edinburgh City sales at Knight Frank. ‘The recent figures highlight just how buoyant the Edinburgh market has been. Premiums have been paid for the very best homes in the best locations and high demand from would-be buyers is evident across the market. We expect that activity will continue to pick up in the coming months,’ he explained. However, despite the optimism in the market, the market has more hurdles to clear, most notably the ongoing negotiations between Holyrood and Westminster concerning further devolution and the upcoming May 2015 UK general election could create more uncertainty, especially when it comes to tax changes affecting high-value residential property. Additionally, from April 2015, Stamp Duty for Scottish residential and non-residential property sales (SDLT) will be replaced by a new Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), which will be administered and collected within Scotland. Guidance surrounding the final rates will be provided this month, but it is expected that buyers of more expensive homes will have to pay more tax up front when purchasing a property. Meanwhile, the No vote in the referendum could Now that the uncertainty of the referendum is over there could be a rise in the number of people from London who would rather own property in Edinburgh and commute,… Continue reading →
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