Property sales in Scotland reach highest levels since 2008, prices up too

Property sales in Scotland reached their highest level since 2008 in November last year and average prices were up £6,000 or 3.5% year on year, the latest index shows.

This took the average price of a house to £175,882 with annual growth led by Glasgow and only five local authority areas saw prices fall over the year, according to the Your Move index.

After a slight dip in the previous month, prices returned to growth in November in Scotland, rising 0.3% and raising average annual growth in the country to 3.5%, from the 3.3% recorded in October. That compares with just 0.9% in the same month for England and Wales.

The data also shows that sales in the eight months to the end of August were up 5.4% on the same period in 2016 at 66,786, the highest number in close to a decade.

In Glasgow average prices reached a new peak in November of £157,353 and were up 9.9% annually. Combine that with solid transaction levels, and the city now accounts for 27% of the increase in values in Scotland over the last year, on a weight-adjusted basis.

In Fife prices increased by 4.8%, in Perth and Kinross they were up 7.7%, in Renfrewshire up 7.9%, West Lothian recorded an increase of 7.5% and Stirling a rise of 9%, the biggest annual price increase after Glasgow.

In some areas, where low sales volumes make pricing volatile, the Shetland Islands has seen growth of 10.1% and average prices in the Orkneys were up 13.3%. The latter also set a new peak average price month on month at £157,311, as did East Renfrewshire where prices increased 0.8% over the month to £264,510. The cost of an average house there is now 5.1% higher than a year ago and it remains the most expensive area in Scotland.

Only five of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas have seen average house prices fall over the last 12 months. In Clackmannanshire prices were down 8.3%, in Argyll and Bute down 3.8%, in Aberdeenshire down 2.4%, Angus down 1.1% and Dundee down 0.4%.

‘The market in Scotland looks strong compared to almost anywhere else in the UK. A lot of that is down to the resilience of the market in Glasgow, but the performance has been good across the board,’ said Christine Campbell, Your Move managing director in Scotland.

According to Alan Penman, business development manager for chartered surveyors Walker Fraser Steele, the level of transactions in Scotland is even more notable than the consistently rising prices. ‘If this is maintained, we can look to 2018 with considerable confidence,’ he said.