ESPC House Price Report - January 2012

  • The average house price in Edinburgh in the three months to January was £211,956 following an annual fall of 1.1%.
  • Prices in the City Centre showed a year-on-year increase of 3.4%.
  • The market for smaller properties continues to experience greater difficulties. The average selling price of a one bedroom flat in Gorgie and Dalry fell by 11.5% annually to £91,536.
  • West Lothian saw a sharp fall of 24% in the average house price due to a rise in the proportion of smaller properties selling.
  • A year-on-year rise of 3% took the average house price in Dunfermline from £129,182 to £132,994.
  • The average house price in most areas is expected to remain unchanged over the course of 2012.

Latest house price figures from ESPC - the largest property marketing firm in East Central Scotland - show that the average house price in Edinburgh fell by 1.1% annually in the three months to January. Between November and January the average selling price of a property in the Capital was £211,956 - down from £214,222 during the same period a year ago.

Commenting on the latest figures David Marshall, business analyst with ESPC said: "There has been very little change in the factors affecting the market over the last year or so and consequently trends have been fairly consistent. The market for smaller properties continues to face the greatest difficulties as the impact of lending restrictions has a more pronounced effect on buyers here. Conditions are comparatively favourable for sellers of larger, family homes although across the board the number of homes selling is still well below that recorded prior to the credit crunch.

"The likelihood is that 2012 will see a continuation of recent trends. Sellers of smaller properties will still find the market more challenging. The falls we've seen in prices since 2007 will offer some first-time buyers who had previously been priced out of the market an affordable way onto the property ladder.

"Most homes are selling for a little below Home Report valuation, so those wishing to secure a quick sale will probably have to show a willingness to accept a slightly lower offer but when they come to buy their next property they should be able to use market conditions to their advantage to secure their next home for less than they may have expected."

Edinburgh

The average house price in Edinburgh between November 2011 and January 2012 was £211,956 - down 1.1% from £214,222 during the same period a year ago.

Although there was very little change in the overall average house price there was some variance in trends within the City. The average price of a property in the City Centre rose by 3.4% on an annual basis to £236,315. On the other hand, the average selling price of a one-bedroom flat in Dalry and Gorgie during the last three months was £91,536 - down 11.5% annually and 28% below the average of £127,213 recorded at the peak of the market.

David Marshall explained: "Activity from first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors was most significantly impacted by the credit crunch meaning values of smaller, starter homes have generally experienced greater falls in value. This creates obvious difficulties for sellers of smaller homes - particularly if they bought at the peak of the market - but the improvement in affordability will be more welcome news for those looking to buy their first home.

Over the last three months 36% of one-bedroom flats sold in the Capital were secured for under £100,000. That's up from 26% a year ago and just 20% in 2008, meaning there is a greater number of more affordable homes for those looking to get on the ladder than has been the case for some years."

Lothians

West Lothian saw a sharp decline in the average house price during the three months to January. A 24% drop took the average house price in the area from £157,451 a year ago to £119,694. The dramatic change was largely attributable to a shift in the mix of properties selling.

David Marshall explained: "Sales volumes are still well below what you would have seen prior to the credit crunch and this makes regional averages much more susceptible to a change in the types of properties selling. For example in this case one and two bedroom properties made up almost 40% of all sales in West Lothian during the last three months. A year ago this figure stood at just 25%. This increase in the number of smaller homes selling naturally pulls the regional average downward. In the months ahead we'd expect to see the average house price return to around £150,000 as the mix of properties selling returns to more regular levels."

Other areas of the Lothians saw less dramatic price changes. In East Lothian a 6.1% decline took the average house price from £197,442 to £185,394 whilst a rise of 2.4% in Midlothian brought the average house price in the area to £163,983.

Dunfermline

The average selling price of a property in Dunfermline between November and January was £132,994. This represents an increase of 3.0% compared to the same period a year ago.

Commenting on these figures David Marshall said: "The second half of 2011 saw very little change in house prices in Dunfermline and this pattern of stability has continued early in 2012. Demand will continue to be constrained by tough economic conditions but the town offers some of the most affordable properties in East Central Scotland which will make it an attractive option for many house buyers."

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