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After a cooling in the market due to the referendum vote on independence, house prices in Scotland have now recovered, according to the latest index figures. Scottish property prices increased by 0.7% in October, taking the average house price to £164,798, just £717 below the pre-recession peak in May 2008. The LSL Property Services/Acadata house price index also shows that on an annual basis prices are up 5.7% and sales of million pound properties in particular have increased since the referendum. The biggest annual rise was in East Renfrewshire with price growth of 13.4%. But growth is not universal with annual price growth down 9.4% in the Scottish Borders and down 6.7% in South Ayrshire. On a month on month basis prices increased by 5.8% in East Dunbartonshire and by 3.4% in Fife but fell by 1.7% in East Lothian and by 1.8% in South Ayrshire. Even in Aberdeen, which has seen some of the highest price growth in Scotland, prices dipped by 0.5% in October. ‘After a run of monthly house price stumbles on the way to the landmark referendum, the Scottish property market has recuperated. Growth regained ground during October, and property values bounced back,’ said Christine Campbell, regional managing director of Your Move. She pointed out that this has returned overall annual growth in Scottish house prices to 5.7%, typically amounting to £8,850, over the past year, and property values in Scotland are making faster progress than across the North of England and Wales. ‘Since the independence question evaporated, a new ray of confidence and certainty is radiating through the market, as normality is resumed. The feel good factor is especially pronounced at the highest tiers of the property market, where political uncertainty froze activity most acutely,’ she explained. Indeed, sales of properties worth £1 million or above have more than doubled from September to October as high end homes began to change hands again. In fact, October 2014 saw the biggest number of million pound properties sold in a single month since September 2008. Campbell also pointed out that only three quarters of the country has seen price growth in the past 12 months and in the remaining areas, property values are below 2013 levels. ‘In these places, activity is vital to keep price growth sailing along, but house sales have slipped back 1% since September,’ she said. While overall, Scottish property sales in 2014 up to October are 14% higher than the same 10 months in 2013, this still only represents 65% of the average volume reached in the pre-recession period of 2004 to 2007. ‘The Chancellor’s revamp of stamp duty should go some way to shore up demand in the short-term, and set off more movement at the lower end of the property chain. But first time buyers have been the guiding light of the Scottish housing recovery, accounting for 46% of current sales in the property market,’ said Campbell. ‘For the bulk of… Continue reading →
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