Property sales and prices up across Scotland, latest official figures show

Property prices are continuing to rise in Scotland annually and month on month while sales have increased substantially towards the end of 2016, the latest index shows.

Average prices were up 1.5% month on month in November 2016 and 3.3% year on year to an average of £143,033, according to the data from the Registers of Scotland, but this is well below the UK average of £217,928.

However housing market activity was robust, up 8.5% in September year on year and 10.4% month on month, suggesting that any slowdown caused by the vote to leave the European Union has not been lasting.

The sales activity compares with annual decreases in sales volumes of 22% in England, 10.4% in Wales and 10.7% in Northern Ireland. Registers of Scotland director of commercial services Kenny Crawford pointed out that it was the first year on year increase in sales volumes in Scotland since March 2016,when volumes of sales increased by 45.4% but this was attributed to buyers trying to beat the new property tax deadline.

‘Changes in Land and Buildings Transaction Tax are likely to have contributed to the significant increase in March and to the subsequent lower volumes in the following months,’ said Crawford who also pointed out that volumes in September 2016 were 18.6% higher than in September 2014 and 26.7% higher than in September 2013.

The highest number of sales were in Edinburgh, followed by Glasgow, Fife, South Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire, the data shows.

The biggest price increase was in East Renfrewshire with annual growth of 16.6% and the biggest decreases were again in Aberdeen where prices fell by 7.8% to £171,530 and also in Inverclyde where prices fell by 7.8% to £95,551.

Across Scotland, all property types showed an increase in average price when compared with the previous year, with semi-detached properties showing the biggest increase of 4.2% to £149,735.

The average price for a property purchased by a former owner occupier was £171,018, an increase of 3.3% on the previous year and for first time buyers it was £115,946, a rise of 3.2%.

The average price for a cash sale was £131,987, up 3.3% on the previous year while the average price for property purchased with a mortgage was £148,137, also an increase of 3.3%.

Scottish property consultant CKD Galbraith said it has seen a rise in sales activity across its network of branches across Scotland. Sales between October and December 2016 were up by 17% when compared to the same quarter in 2015 and the number of properties available for sale increased by 12% while viewing increased by 18%.

‘Scotland is continuing to experience strong levels of demand across all aspects of the residential market despite confidence and sales volumes dipping in other regions of the UK over the same period,’ said Simon Brown, partner and head of residential sales at CKD Galbraith.

While some experts had predicted that the housing market would fall back after the Brexit vote, the firm said that its agents have experienced few lasting effects with plenty of sellers and buyers eager to complete transactions.

‘The eclectic mix of local, national and international buyers that we sell to appears to be unchanged over the last year and we are still experiencing demand from south of the border, especially for rural properties accompanied by small parcels of land, added Brown.