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Property prices across Scotland have risen to their highest level since 2003 - Property Sales Director Karen Turner comments.

Karen Turner,

Property Sales Director, comments on the latest statistics from the Registers of Scotland.

Recent statistics from the Registers of Scotland show that property prices in Edinburgh grew 5.6% year on year, while prices in Fife increased 4.6%. The average change across Scotland was 5.2% growth.

In Edinburgh this equates to an average selling price of £235,402 (Jul-Sept 2014) and £143,075 in Fife as a whole. However, North East Fife in particular is producing a higher average selling price than most other areas of Fife. Edinburgh still remains popular and again this average price is across the geographic area. Certain areas and house types will always outperform the market average.

In Edinburgh the market has remained reasonably buoyant and we have seen traditional family homes in the suburbs continue to perform well.  In Fife too we’ve seen strong performances from areas such as St Andrews in particular, where the buy to let market has continued to grow in the last quarter.

Property development has also picked up again - an encouraging sign of market recovery. More developers are now consulting on proposed sites in both Edinburgh and Fife, a good sign of recovering confidence from the new build sector.

Mortgage lending is becoming more attractive but still with stringent criteria having to be met by borrowers.

In the coming months we anticipate that these sales averages will increase further, as more sellers with properties valued above £325,000 will try to get their properties on the market ahead of the Government’s proposed Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), due to come into force in April. This tax will raise the duty paid by purchasers of properties above the £325,000 mark, and reduce it on those properties falling below this threshold. Subsequently we also expect the number of sales in the £125,000-£135,000 range to fall until after April, as buyers look to avoid paying the extra tax.

This combined activity may cause a spike in growth averages, however this should even out again once the new LBTT has bedded in. While growth in the property market is a good sign, no one wants a return to the break neck price inflation of pre-2008. That’s why all reputable estate agents should offer honest and accurate home valuations that do not bloat the market, and advise purchasers to offer only what they are comfortably able to repay.”

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