Prime property in Edinburgh leading way in Scottish real estate recovery, report suggests

The real estate market in Edinburgh is showing remarked signs of recovery with prime properties in the New Town and West End showing the strongest so far this year, a new report shows.

The number of prospective house buyers registering has increased by over 120% during the past six months and the value of Edinburgh’s best houses has increased on average by 0.7% so far this year, according to the report from Knight Frank.
Prime residential properties worth under £1 million rose almost 3% in value in the first half of 2010 while but vendors’ pricing expectations must remain realistic to continue to attract interest, the report says.
According to Knight Frank’s Prime Edinburgh Residential Index, average property prices increased by 0.3% in the second quarter of this year, taking total growth in 2010 to 0.7%. On an annual basis prices have risen by 0.3% showing just how tough the market has been recently.
‘It is very encouraging to be able to report that the market for Edinburgh’s best houses and flats has started to show some signs of recovery. Values are by no means recovering across the board and are still some way below the levels seen prior to the credit crunch, but some sectors of the market are undoubtedly in far better health than they were at the end of 2009,’ said Matthew Munro, head of Edinburgh city sales, Knight Frank.
‘A strong increase in interest from prospective house purchasers, including many enquiries from overseas, combined with a more realistic approach to pricing by vendors, has helped inject some life into a market that was hit particularly hard by the banking crisis. In the first half of this year the number of buyers registering with us increased by 123% compared with the previous six months and we are now exceeding Home Report valuation prices by as much as 10% on a regular basis,’ he added.
The section of the market where we have seen most demand and price growth is for properties under £1 million. An increase of over 1.5% for the second quarter of the year takes total growth for 2010 to almost 3%, with properties in this price bracket now worth over 4% more than they were 12 months ago, the report also shows.
‘Properties worth under £1 million are in particular demand benefiting from high net worth buyers setting their sights a little lower. Those, for example, who would have been looking at detached villas and substantial townhouses are instead now viewing equally high quality, but smaller, terraced houses, villas and large flats, thus creating competition at closing dates,’ explained Munro.
He added that there is also an upturn in demand for houses priced between £1.5 million and £2 million with four detached villas being sold within the last five weeks in Grange, Morningside, Merchiston and Colinton for between £1.65 million and £1.9 million. Also a Georgian terraced townhouse in the New Town area recently went for 10% over its £2.2 million valuation.