Scottish prime property market sees strongest year start since 2008

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The prime residential market at £400,000 and above across Scotland experienced a strong performance last year, with a 22% annual increase in activity. In this sector there were 2,536 transactions during 2013, according to the latest analysis report from Savills which shows that the market was robust from spring 2013 onwards with deals being done throughout the winter period. A further 188 prime transactions were registered in January 2014 across Scotland, making it the busiest start to the year since 2008. Savills says that the prime market is being boosted by the hubs of Edinburgh, the Aberdeen area and Greater Glasgow, where prime activity increased annually by around 25% in each location. The prime market in Edinburgh was heavily supported by the hotspots of Grange, Morningside and Merchiston. Prime transactions in this combined area increased by 29% last year. The West End of Edinburgh and the northern suburb of Trinity also enjoyed a better market in 2013, following slightly lower activity in the previous two years. Similarly, the prime southern Glasgow suburbs of Pollokshields, Newlands, Giffnock and Newton Mearns experienced a strong market last year with a 31% increase in activity. These areas continue to be supported by top quality education facilities and excellent transport links. ‘We have noticed a change in the buyer age group over the course of the last year. In previous years there was an over reliance on those aged 50 and above driving the market. However, the prime market in the city hotspots of Edinburgh and Glasgow is increasingly being driven by younger professionals aged from 30 to 39, comprising around 40% of Savills sales last year,’ said Faisal Choudhry of Savill’s research team in Glasgow. ‘This target market had been somewhat subdued following the housing market downturn, mainly due to affordability issues. However, there was an ever present pent up demand among this age category aspiring to upsize. This age group is now more active and is enabling the whole of the market to move again following low levels of sales during 2011 and 2012,’ he pointed out. ‘The market strength in the core locations of Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow has spilled out to some of Scotland’s provincial locations, such as Tayside, where prime transactions increased last year by 19%. The prime markets in Ayrshire and the Borders also improved The analysis report explains that prime values across Scotland have fallen over the last few years due to the high levels of stock available on the market. However, the significant increase in prime sales has created a net reduction in stock levels. ‘Supply in some hotspots in Edinburgh and Glasgow has been decreasing, resulting in a slight rise in values, particularly towards the end of last year. The rebalancing of supply and demand has started in the country locations of Scotland with values beginning to stabilise during the last quarter of 2013. We expect a gentle rise in Scottish prime values during 2014 when supply and demand eventually rebalance,’ added Choudhry. Continue reading →

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