House Price Report March 2023 | Property market data
Property market data: Key points
- During January-March 2023 the average selling price of property across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife, and the Borders rose 1% to £270,284.
- Sales volumes dropped 13.1% annually during this period, while new property listings decreased by 2.6%.
- The median selling time of property was 28 days, highlighting that buyers are still acting relatively quickly to secure their next home.
- On average, 76.9% of properties sold for their Home Report valuation or higher, with the average property achieving 102.8% of Home Report valuation at sale.
- A total of 23.3% of properties went to a closing date.
High demand for homes despite financial changes
The first quarter of 2023 saw the 11th consecutive rise in interest rates, by a quarter of a percentage point to 4.25% in an attempt to slow rising inflation. It follows months of upheaval since the mini-budget in September coupled with the rising cost of living but the housing market is still performing well with plenty of interest in quality homes, albeit at a calmer pace than we’ve seen in previous years where demand significantly outweighed supply.
In January-March 2023, new property listings in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders were down by 2.6% year-on-year as homeowners waited to see how the market panned out before listing a property for sale.
However, lots of ESPC areas saw an increase in popularity with new property listings increasing in South Queensferry (a 37% increase), Newington (rising by 27%), Dunfermline (26.7%), Leith (17.4%) and Corstorphine (up by 9.8%).
The seaside towns of St Andrews, North Berwick and Musselburgh also saw increases in new property listings of 36.8%, 19.2% and 10.1% respectively.
In terms of property sales, volumes across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders reduced by 13.1% annually, with localised rises and falls in sales volumes highlighting regionalised variations in the property market. For instance, in West Fife & Kinross sales volumes were down 13.2% and in the Borders volumes declined by 5.1%. However, in East Fife and East Lothian volumes increased by 40.8% and 6% year-on-year respectively.
Buyers are slightly more cautious
ESPC data for the first quarter of 2023 shows selling prices remaining consistent, but that properties are taking slightly longer to sell as buyers adopt a slightly more cautious approach.
The average selling price of property across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife, and the Borders increased by 1% year-on-year to £270,284, despite continued reports of market uncertainty.
By way of context, in January-March 2019, which can be used to compare to the pre-pandemic norms, the average house price was £236,876, highlighting that high demand for properties has pushed up prices.
Midlothian recorded the highest price increase over the past three months with the average selling price rising 16.1% annually to £263,437. The average selling price in West Fife & Kinross was £206,158, up 6.3% year-on-year.
The City of Edinburgh saw average property selling prices rise 0.9% to £286,108. 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 Blackhall, Davidsons Mains and Silverknowes where the price of this property type increased by 25.4% year-on-year to £476,495. Three-bedroom houses also saw selling price increases in Corstorphine, Clermiston, South Gyle and East Craigs, rising by 10.3% to £391,003.
Another popular property type in Edinburgh was two-bedroom flats in Morningside and Merchiston which saw average selling prices rise by 9.8% to £407,293. In Newington, The Grange and Blackford, two-bedroom flats increased by 8.8% annually to £308,115.
Buyers paying over the odds for their dream home
There is strong evidence that the market is returning to pre-pandemic norms in the first quarter of 2023.
While we continue to see strong interest in home buying and selling with relatively quick selling times and high levels of the Home Report valuation being achieved, these are down year-on-year in comparison to high volumes recorded during the pandemic.
In January-March 2023, 76.9% of properties sold for their Home Report valuation or higher, with the average property achieving 102.8% of Home Report valuation at sale. This highlights that the property market in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife, and the Borders is still competitive.
If we compare this to January-March 2019, 72.7% 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 104.3% of their valuations on average – 3.5 percentage points lower year-on-year.
This was followed by East Fife where the percentage of Home Report valuation attained was 103% (a 4.9 percentage points decrease year-on-year).
Properties in the City of Edinburgh achieved 102.9% of their valuations on average – a decline of 2.2 percentage points annually.
A total of 23.3% of properties in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife, and the Borders went to a closing date in the past three months. In January-March 2019, 24.9% of properties went to a closing date, indicating that activity levels are now very close to those before the pandemic.
Market cools down
The market in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife, and the Borders is rebalancing following the post-lockdown period of 2021/2022 where demand and activity in the housing market was higher than the norm.
The median selling time cooled slightly when we compare year-on-year average – the median time to sell now sits at 28 days, nine days slower annually and one day slower than January-March 2019.
In January-March 2023, homes went under offer the fastest in East Lothian in a median time of 25 days, nine days slower year-on-year. This was followed by the Borders where properties went under offer in 28 days, no change from the previous year.
The City of Edinburgh, while still a popular place to live also saw properties take longer to go under offer at 29 days, eight days slower annually.
What does it all mean?
Paul Hilton, CEO of ESPC, explains: “The post-pandemic era has seen an incredibly buoyant property market with a distinct lack of housing stock, coupled with high selling prices and quick selling times.
“However, in the first quarter of 2023, we are seeing clear signs that the market is cooling and returning to more normal levels last seen in 2019.
“Due to the cost-of-living crisis and interest rates increases, we can see that buyers are taking affordability into account reflected in a slightly slower speed of sale and some reduction in sales volumes.
“There has been continued interest in out-of-town areas such as South Queensferry, Dunfermline and Musselburgh which are popular with first-time buyers who are seeking homes with more space and good transport links to the city centre.
“If you are thinking of buying or selling in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife or the Borders, it is crucial to seek expert advice from a solicitor estate agent and monthly affordability advice from ESPC Mortgages.”
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