ESPC House Price Report - September 2011

  • House prices in the three months to September were below 2010 levels in most areas of East Central Scotland.
  • In Edinburgh the average house price recorded between July and September was £216,673 - 5.7% lower than during the same period last year.
  • The number of homes available for sale is lower than at this time last year but still above levels that would be expected under normal market conditions.
  • 70% of properties sold at Fixed Price were secured for less than the asking price - up from 57% during the same period last year.
  • Projections are unchanged with house prices in coming months expected to remain between 3 and 5% below levels seen a year ago.
Overview

Latest house price figures released by ESPC, the largest property marketing firm in East Central Scotland, reveal that average house prices in most areas remain below 2010 levels. The average house price in Edinburgh recorded between July and September was £216,673.

The volume of properties being brought to the market has eased in recent months meaning that the number of homes for sale is now lower than at this stage last year. Despite this easing the number of homes for sale is still some 40% above levels that would be expected at this time of year. Buyers remain in a strong position during negotiations.


Over the last three months, 70% of properties sold at Fixed Price have been secured for less than the asking price. During the same period last year that figure stood at just 57%.

David Marshall, business analyst with ESPC commented: "As has been the case for most of 2011, market conditions just now favour buyers. There are more homes for sale than you would normally see at this time of year whilst the number of people who are in a position to buy is still relatively low. Sellers are having to work harder to attract buyers and in most cases will have to be willing to offer a little leeway on price if they are to secure a sale. The market for smaller properties continues to be most significantly affected by the downturn but across the board the activity in the market is quieter than at this time last year.

"Looking ahead we're likely to see a continuation of recent trends which will mean prices in most areas will be between 3 and 5% lower than they were a year ago. The economic recovery remains weak and we do not expect to see a significant improvement in consumer confidence or mortgage availability in the short term meaning that in 2012 the number of homes selling will be broadly in line with what we have seen this year."

Edinburgh

The average price of a property sold in Edinburgh between July and September stood at £216,673 this year. This marked a decline of 5.7% from the level of £229,787 recorded during the same period in 2010.

David Marshall commented: "Very little has changed in the market over the last month and prices in most areas of the Capital are heading back to levels recorded in 2009. Although there's some fluctuation in figures within the city, generally speaking where sharper falls have been observed this year these offset similarly sharp rises last year and vice versa. The 13.5% fall observed this year in the City Centre, for example, comes on the back of a rise of almost 18% last year.

"Low consumer confidence, concerns about job security and difficulties faced by first-time buyers in securing mortgages all continue to place constraints on demand. We do not expect a significant amount of change in any of these areas in the near future meaning those wishing to sell their home may have to accept a lower price than they had originally hoped for, although obviously when they come to buy the likelihood is they will also have to spend less than planned to secure their next home."

Lothians

There was a mixed picture for house prices in the Lothians during the three months to September. A 10.6% annual fall in East Lothian took the average house price from £225,600 last year to £201,710 this year but rises were observed in both Midlothian and West Lothian. In Midlothian a year-on-year increase of 11.3% brought the average to £178,686 whilst a rise of 10.6% in West Lothian brought the average house price in the area to £173,571.

These increases are expected to prove short-lived however with prices likely to come back down in these areas in coming months.

David Marshall explained: "The number of homes selling is still quite low meaning when you drill down to a regional level it only takes a relatively small number of sales to skew the average house price figures. The markets in Midlothian and West Lothian are of course affected by the same fundamentals as the rest of the country and we expect these figures will prove to be anomalies over the long run."

Dunfermline

The average price of a property sold in Dunfermline during the three months to September stood at £136,562 following an annual fall of 0.3%. This meant the average house price in the town was £452 lower than it was a year ago.

Commenting on these figures David Marshall said: "We have seen very little change in house values in Dunfermline throughout most of 2011 and September saw this trend continue.

"House prices in Dunfermline are significantly lower than in most areas of Edinburgh and the Lothians which makes the town an attractive option for many people working in the Capital who are willing to commute. With that said, competition among sellers is still high meaning it is the more keenly priced properties which are attracting greater interest."

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