February 2023 property market update
Property market data: Key points
- During December 2022-February 2023, the average selling price of property across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife, and the Borders rose 2.2% year-on-year to £277,326.
- Sales volumes dropped 19.7% annually during this period, while new property listings decreased by 2.7%.
- The median selling time of property was 22 days, highlighting that buyers still acting relatively quickly to secure their next home.
- On average, 80.7% of properties sold for their Home Report valuation or higher, with the average property achieving 103.6% of Home Report valuation at sale.
- 23.5% of properties went to a closing date.
Out-of-town areas maintaining popularity
Combining the quieter month of December, with the traditional popularity of the market in February, the most recent house price data from ESPC gives a clear overview of how the rising cost of living and financial market changes have impacted the property market in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Scottish Borders.
In December 2022-February 2023, new property listings in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife, and the Borders were down by 2.7% year-on-year as homeowners waited to see how the market panned out before listing a property for sale.
However, there were some areas that bucked this trend, primarily out-of-town areas and places slightly outside the city centre. Dunfermline, Leith and Musselburgh saw rises in new property listings (an increase of 26.3%, 24.6% and 20.4% respectively).
Many locations in the Borders witnessed high levels of activity during this period, with a 13.4% increase in new listings in the Borders, 125% in Galashiels and 11.8% in Peebles.
In terms of property sales, volumes across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders reduced by 19.7% annually, with localised rises and falls in sales volumes highlighting regionalised variations in the property market. As highlighted, Dunfermline, Leith and Musselburgh recorded higher numbers of properties listed for sale than the preceding year, and these areas also proved popular with buyers.
Market returning to pre-pandemic levels
Notwithstanding the well-documented market headwinds, buyers were still keen to secure their dream home between December 2022 and February 2023, with the average selling price of property across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife, and the Borders increasing 2.2% year-on-year to £277,326, despite continued reports of market uncertainty.
By way of context, in December 2018-February 2019 which can be used to compare to the pre=pandemic norms, the average house price was £238,263, highlighting the high demand for properties in the past four years has pushed up prices.
West Fife & Kinross recorded some of the highest price increases over the last month with the average selling price rising 15% annually to £219,292. The average selling price in Dunfermline was £210,896, up 12.7% year-on-year.
The City of Edinburgh saw average property selling prices rise 2.3% to £293,096. Following high demand for properties in the past year, two and three-bedroom properties continued to be popular with Edinburgh buyers.
There was high demand for three-bedroom houses in Corstorphine, Clermiston, South Gyle and East Craigs where the price of this property type increased by 17.5% year-on-year to £394,698. Three-bedroom houses also saw selling price increases in Blackhall, Davidsons Mains and Silverknowes, rising by 10.1% to £492,888.
Another popular property type in Edinburgh was two-bedroom flats in Morningside and Merchiston which saw average selling prices rise by 16% to £395,673. In Leith, The Shore and Granton two-bedroom flats increased by 9.4% annually to £236,414.
Buyers willing to pay over the odds to secure their next home
There is evidence the market is returning to pre-pandemic norms. While we continue to see strong interest in home buying and selling with quick selling times and high levels of the Home Report valuation being achieved, these are down year-on-year where we recorded some real highs in market activity following unusually high demand following the Covid pandemic.
In December 2022-February 2023, 80.7% of properties sold for their Home Report valuation or higher, with the average property achieving 103.6% of Home Report valuation at sale – highlighting the competitive nature that is still prevalent in the property market in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders, although at a calmer rate.
If we compare this to December 2018-February 2019, before the market was disrupted due to Covid lockdowns, 73.5% of properties sold for their Home Report valuation or higher, while the average property achieved 102.4% of Home Report valuation at sale, showing that the market is returning to nearer to pre-pandemic norms.
East Lothian properties attained the most over Home Report valuation, with properties achieving 105.7% of their valuations on average – 3.9 percentage points lower year-on-year.
This was followed by East Fife where the percentage of Home Report valuation attained was 105.2% (a 2.5 percentage points decrease year-on-year).
Properties in the City of Edinburgh achieved 103.5% of their valuations on average – a decline of 1.6 percentage points annually. This is positive news for buyers – in the past year we’ve seen some properties sell upwards of 10% over Home Report value and this cooling of the market means those who have been waiting to see how the market pans out may be encouraged to come forward. Sellers who are looking to make an onwards purchase will also no doubt benefit from this changing trend as their money will go further when buying their next property.
A total of 23.5% of properties in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders went to a closing date in the past three months. In December 2019-February 2020, 23.2% of properties went to a closing date, indicating that activity levels are now very close to those before the pandemic.
Strong competition in market despite post-pandemic cooldown
The market is continuing to perform well despite speculation to the contrary with homes continuing to sell quickly, albeit at a calmer pace than we’ve seen in previous months were demand significantly outweighed supply.
The median time for properties to go under offer in December 2022-February 2023 was 22 days, four days slower than the previous year. Comparing this to the same period in 2019, homes went under offer in 27 days in December 2018-February 2019, indicating that the market is continuing to outperform the activity trends that were the norm before the pandemic.
In December 2022-February 2023, homes went under offer the fastest in East Lothian and West Lothian in a median time of 20 days, six and seven day slower year-on-year respectively.
Properties in the Borders, Midlothian and the City of Edinburgh also performed strongly, with a median selling time of 21, 22 and 23 days.
In the City of Edinburgh, homes sold the fastest in the west of the city with a median selling time of 19 days. When analysing specific housing types overall, one-bed flats in Polwarth, Shandon and Tollcross sold quickest.
What does it all mean?
Paul Hilton, CEO of ESPC, explains: “Buying a home will always be a good long-term investment and the market in Edinburgh, the Lothians Fife and the Borders is continuing to perform well with strong competition for properties and 80.7% of properties selling for their Home Report valuation or higher.
“There has been continued interest in areas such as Leith, Corstorphine and Blackhall, which are popular with young families and professionals who want homes with more space and good transport links to the city centre.
“The spring market is expected to be busy and there are promising signs that the market is currently continuing to outperform the pre-pandemic levels and other parts of the UK. This highlights once again that there is no 'one market' and local knowledge and insight is imperative if thinking about buying or selling.
“If you are thinking of buying or selling in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife or the Borders, contact your local ESPC agent today.”
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