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Property sales take a dip in Scotland

But real estate professionals say the statistics are behind what is actually happening in the market which is showing sings of picking up.

Figures from the Registers of Scotland show that house transactions are down 57.1% and the average house price for a property in Scotland fell by over 6%, bringing the average price for a residential property down to £140,318.

Edinburgh saw the highest house prices, at £187,289, whilst also retaining the largest market sales of just under £217 million for the quarter, a decrease of 60.9% over the same quarter last year.

Detached properties showed the largest decrease in house prices, at 9% year on year. However, Angus, East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Moray and the Orkney Islands all showed increases in average property prices compared to the previous year. Inverclyde recorded the highest year-on-year decrease, at 23.2%.

However, Professor Gwilym Pryce, Chairman of the Scottish Housing Economics & Finance Research Network, said that he believed that house price falls were beginning to ease off.

He predicted that there are likely to be price rises during the coming months but said that they could be blips caused by home owners who had held off for the best price possible but finally sold through force of circumstances.

And Alasdair Seaton, a chartered surveyor with DM Hall in Dunfermline, said that he believed that Registers' figures did not reveal the extent of the recovery currently being experienced by the Scottish property.

'There is a delay between when houses are sold and when the data gets passed to the Register. So a lot of the information we are seeing just now is accurate to four or five months ago, when we were in the depths of despair,' he explained.

'I would say that in the first few months of 2009 there has been a lot more optimism, a lot more viewers and more houses selling, but only where people are willing to accept that house prices are no longer near where they were at their peak,' he added.

He cautioned that there was still downward pressure on the market, but said he felt it was well on the way to levelling out.