ESPC House Price Report - March 2011

Forth bridge sunset
Overview
  • In the three months to March the average house price in Edinburgh was £207,497 following an annual rise of just £77.
  • The number of homes for sale is around 25% higher than would typically be seen at this time of year meaning buyers remain in a strong negotiating position.
  • 33% of homes sold at Fixed Price in Edinburgh achieved the asking price, down from 40% during the first three months of last year.
  • The average house price in East Lothian fell by 9% annually, however this followed a 16.7% increase during the first three months of last year.
  • The average house price in Dunfermline rose by 17.5% annually and now stands at £146,708. The rise stemmed from an increase in the proportion of larger homes selling, with comparison of like-for-like sales showing more modest growth of around 3%.
  • The likelihood is that in most areas the average house price will ease back in coming months before levelling off during the second half of 2011.

 

Edinburgh

The average house price in Edinburgh during the first three months of 2011 stood at £207,497, just £77 higher than the figure recorded in the first quarter of 2010.

There was some variance in the prices of specific property types within the Capital but in most cases these simply offset changes witnessed a year ago. For example, the average price of a home in the City Centre fell by 11.0% but this followed a 9.6% rise the previous year. Similarly, the average price of a four-bedroom property in the city's suburbs rose by 11.2% having fallen by 11.7% last year meaning that in both cases prices were within 2.5% of 2009 levels.

David Marshall commented: "Lower sales volumes make averages more volatile meaning you can see variances like this in an individual period. These tend to be one-off anomalies which are offset in subsequent months rather than being reflective of a trend.

During the first half of 2010 the average house price in Edinburgh rose, mainly due to an increase in the proportion of larger homes selling. More recently we have seen prices start to ease back and in most cases house values are now at, or slightly below levels seen at the start of last year.

Buyers are enjoying a little more success in negotiations than they were a year ago, with only 33% of Fixed Price properties achieving their asking price so far this year compared to 40% during the first quarter of 2010. With the number of homes selling exceeding the number of active buyers we expect prices to inch down a little in coming months before levelling out towards the end of the year, whilst the number of homes sold should be in line with that seen last year."

The Lothians

The average house price in East Lothian stood at £191,539 during the first quarter of 2011 after an annual fall of 9%. The drop followed an annual rise of 16.7% a year ago however meaning prices were 6% higher than they were in 2009.

David Marshall explained: "Last year there was a substantial increase in the proportion of larger properties selling in East Lothian which inflated the average figure. This year we've seen the mix of properties selling return to more normal levels which has brought the average house price back down again. Prices are still higher than they were two years ago, and overall East Lothian has actually outperformed most areas in East Central Scotland since the onset of the credit crunch."

Elsewhere, prices in Midlothian were almost unchanged with a 0.8% increase taking the average in the region to £162,855. In West Lothian a 6.3% drop brought the average to £153,043, but this followed a 5.1% rise last year meaning prices were in line with 2009 levels.

West Fife & Kinross

The average house price in Dunfermline jumped sharply during the first quarter of 2011 with a 17.5% rise taking the average house price in the town to £146,708. The increase was primarily due to a rise in the proportion of larger homes selling rather than an increase in the value of homes in the area.

David Marshall explained: "So far this year houses with four or more bedrooms have accounted for almost 25% of sales in Dunfermline compared to less than 20% last year. Although this may seem like a relatively small change, it has significantly inflated the overall average.

When you look at like-for-like sales comparing the prices of properties of similar size you see much more modest growth which is reflective of what is actually happening in the local market. For example, the average price of a one or two-bedroom flat in Dunfermline rose by 3.4% to £71,941. Similarly, the average price of a three-bedroom house rose by 3.0% from £134,719 last year to £138,773 this year."

 

Got a question? Read our House Price Report FAQs.

Want to know about previous months and years? Read our historical house price data.