ESPC House Price Report - April 2012

  • The average house price in Edinburgh in the three months to April was £209,065 following an annual rise of 1.0%.
  • There was a mixed picture for prices within the Capital, with prices of one and two bedroom properties lower than they were a year ago in most areas.
  • East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian all saw the average house price rise on an annual basis.
  • The number of homes sold across Edinburgh and the Lothians is over 12% higher than was recorded a year ago.
  • In Dunfermline the average house price showed a year-on-year decline of 5.1%.
  • Buyers continue to enjoy success in negotiations with most properties selling for less than their Home Report valuation. One in five homes sold during the last three months were secured for more than 10% below valuation.
Overview

Latest figures from ESPC reveal that the average house price in Edinburgh between February and April was £209,065 following a year-on-year rise of 1.0%. This marked the first time in 2012 that an annual rise had been recorded in the Capital.

House prices also rose across the Lothians - most notably in Midlothian where an annual increase of 7.0% took the average house price from £161,267 between February and April last year to £172,582 this year. In Dunfermline, prices fell by 5.1% annually bringing the average house price in the town to £131,570.

The first three months of the year had seen an increase in the number of homes sold and this trend continued into April with sales across Edinburgh and the Lothians up by 12% annually.

Commenting on the results David Marshall, business analyst with ESPC, said: "Sellers whose homes have been on the market for a while are now showing a willingness to accept a lower offer for their property where previously they had often been holding out until they received a figure in line with their Home Report valuation. One in five homes sold over the last three months were secured for more than 10% below their Home Report valuation, with most of these being properties that had been on the market for more than four months. At the same time, sellers who are bringing their homes to the market today are being more realistic in setting their asking price and the result is that we've seen a rise in the number of sales being agreed.

"Activity levels are still some way below what we would have seen at the peak of the market but the number of sales we've seen so far in 2012 has been significantly higher than in the last few years. Competition amongst sellers remains high so we don't expect to see prices rise over the course of the year but the number of properties being bought and sold should continue to show improvement which will be good news for those looking to move home."

Edinburgh

The average house price in Edinburgh between February and April was £209,065 - up 1.0% from £206,902 a year ago.

Despite the increase in the overall average there was a mixed picture for house prices within the Capital. In the City Centre a 2.8% increase took the average to £232,098 whilst a 4.9% rise brought the average price of a four bedroom detached property in the Capital to £383,181.

On the other hand the average price of a two bedroom flat in Stockbridge and Comely Bank now stands at £207,688 - 7.5% lower than it was twelve months ago. The average price of a one bedroom flat in Dalry and Gorgie showed a similar level of decline, a 6.9% decrease taking the average from £104,429 between February and April last year to £97,235 this year.

In Leith Walk and Easter Road the average price of a one bedroom flat fell sharply by 14.9% annually. This decrease largely offset a similarly sharp rise a year ago however when prices in the area rose by 10% annually.

David Marshall explained: "Overall, the average house price in Edinburgh has changed very little compared to last year, rising by just 1% annually. Within the city there's a real difference in trends between market segments though. For the most part the value of smaller properties have fallen as activity from both first time buyers and buy to let investors in still relatively low. On the other hand, the value of larger, family homes have risen in many areas with buyers of these properties generally less affected by factors such as restrictions in mortgage availability."

Lothians

House prices rose across the Lothians in the three months to April with East Lothian, West Lothian and Midlothian all recording an annual increase in the average house price figure. This marked the first time that an annual rise had been recorded in all three areas during the same month since September 2010.

In East Lothian a 2.4% increase brought the average from £192,061 to £196,674 and a 0.1% year-on-year rise in West Lothian meant the average inched up from £160,880 a year ago to £160,982 this year.

In Midlothian an annual increase of 7.0% took the average to £172,582. This rise followed a decrease of 5.1% during the same period last year. Prices today are now back in line with levels seen in 2010.

David Marshall said: "The headline figure in Midlothian suggests a sharp rise in prices, but in reality it just offsets the decrease we saw at this time last year. The picture across the Lothians is that prices have inched up very slightly. It's the increase in the number of homes selling that is more noteworthy, with the number of sales recorded up by over 10%.

"For many sellers, this is actually of more importance than what is happening with prices. Most people are buying and selling at the same time, so if the value of your current home rises it just means the price we'll have to pay for your next home will also be higher. When prices fall you may have to accept less for the property you're selling but when you come to buy you should be able to secure your next home for a lower price as well."

Dunfermline

The average selling price of a property in Dunfermline between February and April was £131,570. This represents a decrease of 5.1% from the level of £138,613 recorded during the same period a year ago. The drop means that house price in the town are now back in line with levels seen at the start of 2010 when the average stood at £131,809.

David Marshall commented: "In Midlothian we saw a rise in the average house price this year offset a fall last year. The opposite has been the case in Dunfermline where a drop in the price in 2012 has balanced out an increase in 2011. In both cases however, the average house price is now very close to what we saw early in 2010.

"Looking ahead we may well see some volatility in prices from month to month but the general trend will be for the average house price in most areas to be in line with what we saw towards the end of last year."

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