ESPC House Price Report March 2015

The shore

Summary

  • The number of homes brought to the market saw an increase during the month of March.
  • Seller activity regained balance in the upper-mid market due to the changes in property tax on 1st April.
  • The average selling price in East Central Scotland increased by 11% in the three months up to and including March year-on-year.
  • The percentage of sales achieving the Home Report valuation remains strong at 46%.

Full report

The first quarter of 2015 statistics show a very strong start to the year throughout East Central Scotland as a whole.  The average house price for this quarter in the area is up 11% year on year and now stands at £207,618, compared to £187,287 in the first quarter of 2014. Two bedroom flats in the Marchmont/Bruntsfield area saw a particularly sharp rise in selling price with an increase of 21%. Another area of particular note is Dunfermline where selling prices have increased by 30% this quarter, year on year.

During March specifically buyer activity increased with the number of homes sold rising on an annual basis by 9%. Seller activity also increased with the number of homes marketed up by 7% compared to March 2014.

As expected, with the introduction of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) on 1st April, replacing Stamp Duty, the number of new properties marketed in March with an asking price of over £300,000 has regained balance with 15% of properties marketed in March in this bracket compared to 19% in February. Properties sold for over £333,000 will pay more tax under the new tax regime.

Commenting on the results, Paul Hilton, ESPC CEO, explained;

“As predicted the percentage of new upper-mid market properties registrations has slowed this month with the change now in place. We now expect the change encourage the movement of more affordable properties, with all properties sold for under £333,000 now paying less tax and properties under £145,000 paying no tax all, where previously we saw this threshold at £125,000.

“Along with these tax savings, new government initiatives to help first time buyers and also the increased availability of pension funds, means that there is the potential for the buy-to-let sector to contribute to the movement of properties. Increased activity at the lower end produces a domino effect up the chain which makes way for a healthy state of the market going forward.

“The median selling time in East Central Scotland is down by 18% during the first quarter a year ago.  Increased competition from buyers not only means quicker selling times but also more sellers achieving their Home Report valuations.  The percentage of sales achieving their Home Report valuation in the same period rose from 38% a year ago to 46% today.”

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