ESPC House Price Report - May 2012

  • The average house price in Edinburgh rose by 1.6% annually in the three months to May and now stands at £218,369.
  • There was again a mixed picture for house values within the Capital, with some areas including the City Centre seeing a rise in prices while other areas such as Stockbridge observed falls.
  • The number of homes sold in Edinburgh continues to exceed that seen in recent years. Through the first five months of the year completed sales in the Capital are at their highest level since 2008.
  • The average house price in Midlothian rose by 12.6% annually, but this came on the back of a 7.8% drop during the same period last year.
  • In Dunfermline there was very little change in house prices with a 0.8% increase bringing the average in the town to £134,799.
  • Market conditions have improved for sellers in recent month but the balance of power still lies with buyers. Properties are currently being secured for an average of around 5% below Home Report valuation.
Overview

The average price of a home sold in Edinburgh between March and May rose by 1.6%. Latest figures from ESPC, the largest property marketing company in East Central Scotland, reveal that the average price of a property in the Capital stood at £218,369 - up from £214,938 a year ago.

The number of homes sold in Edinburgh early in 2012 has been well ahead of levels seen in recent years and this trend continued into May. Through the first five months of the year the number of sales recorded in the Capital has been at its highest level since 2008 and almost 13% higher than was recorded during the same period in 2011. Across the rest of Lothians the number of homes selling is also well ahead of last year's levels with completed sales rising by more than 18%.

Commenting on the results David Marshall, business analyst with ESPC, said: "The Stamp Duty holiday which meant first time buyers buying homes in the £125,000 to £250,000 bracket didn't have to pay the tax finished at the end of March but this hasn't adversely affected the number of homes selling in the local market. Whilst the saving it offered was certainly appreciated by those who benefitted, the holiday didn't stimulate a huge number of sales from people who wouldn't have been looking to buy anyway.

"Market conditions this year are more favourable for sellers than was the case early last year but overall the balance of power still lies in favour buyers. Around 70% of properties sold are being secured for less than their Home Report valuation with the average selling price standing at around 5% below valuation in most areas. This year sellers have shown a greater willingness to accept slightly lower offers on their current property and of course when they then come to buy they can look to recoup any money lost here by negotiating a discount on their new home."

Edinburgh

The average house price in Edinburgh between March and May stood at £218,369 following an annual rise of 1.6%. There was a mixed picture for prices within the Capital.

In the City Centre for example the average selling price of a property over the last three months has been £249,619 - up 8.9% compared to the same period last year. Similarly the average price of a four bedroom detached property in the city stands 5.0% higher than it was a year ago at £377,633. At the other end of the scale, in Stockbridge and Comely Bank the average price of a two bedroom flat is now £201,667 - down from £233,587 last year - and in Leith Walk and Easter Road the average price of a one bedroom flat has fallen by 6.2% on an annual basis and now stands at £102,167.

David Marshall said: "Typically in a city where the overall average is relatively stable, in any given period you'll tend to see some areas where prices have risen and others where prices have dipped. These tend to simply be a result of volatility in more localised markets and are not reflective of long-term trends. Generally speaking it is the market for smaller properties where sellers are finding conditions most challenging, whilst those selling larger, family homes are tending to find the market comparatively favourable."

Lothians

Midlothian recorded the sharpest annual rise in house prices of any area in East Central Scotland in the three months to May. A 12.6% year-on-year increase in the area brought the average from £160,922 a year ago to £181,245 this year. The rise came on the back of a sharp fall in prices a year ago meaning that the average today is just 3.9% higher than it was in 2010.

David Marshall explained: "Although the number of homes selling has picked up this year you can still see some volatility in local figures. When you see sharp changes in prices it's important to look at what's happened in previous periods so you can identify whether the change is reflective of a long term trend or simply offsetting a similar shift the previous year. In this case for example the 12.6% annual rise in Midlothian follows a decline of 7.8% last year. Despite the sharp increase this year, over the two years since 2010 prices have risen by a much more modest 3.9%.

"This tends to be the case when you see dramatic swings in price one way or the other. In fact if you look at the Lothians the areas as an example, the areas recording rises this year saw a fall in prices during the same period last year and vice versa."

Dunfermline

The average selling price of a property in Dunfermline during the three months to May showed a small year-on-year arise with an increase of 0.8% bring the average from £133,773 a year ago to £134,799 this year.

Prices were stable across the board in the town with both starter flats and larger family homes showing very little movement in price. The average selling price of a one bedroom flat stood at £64,286, a little over £500 lower than at this time last year. Meanwhile the average selling price of a four bedroom property rose by just 1.2% from £187,428 a year ago to £189,759 this year.

View house price table

Got a question? Read our House Price Report FAQs.

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