Date: 31st January 2024 at 19:00pm-20:00pm

Venue: Live Stream Via YouTube, Facebook, X, Instagram, Linkedin and TikTok. (Map)


ESPC Live January 2024 has now ended. We hope to run another ESPC Live event later this year. Keep your eyes peeled on our events page

But you can still get ahead of the game and find out the latest Scottish property market news by watching the replay of the event here! During our live stream we analysed and discussed the 2023 property market and predictions for the year ahead in 2024. Our experts discussed insights into the local property market, mortgages, lettings, and investing and talked through the data for each topic to support discussions.


Paul Hilton and Ashley Mcinulty from ESPC

Expert panel

Key insights

What was the 2023 housing market like in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife & the Scottish Borders?

The local property market saw a 3% reduction in average sale price in 2023, with more lower-priced properties being sold in the latter half of the year. Sales of first-time buyer flats increased by 45% in the last quarter, resulting in a decrease in the premium paid over the home report valuation. The average percentage achieved over home report valuation in 2023 was 103%, compared to 107% in 2022. In 2023, the housing market in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Scottish Borders saw a decrease in average house prices and a longer time to sell, but sellers who sold with ESPC solicitor estate agents still gained an average of 103% over home report valuation. 

Which house types sold well in 2023?

Family homes and properties with good outdoor space sold well, while the middle market suffered due to supply outstripping demand. Properly priced and well-marketed properties sold relatively well, while mispriced and poorly marketed properties struggled. Pricing strategy is key in the current sensitive and discerning market. There are no geographical hotspots, but rather a focus on properly priced and marketed properties.

What is the 2024 property market looking like?

In 2024, the property market is expected to be more tradable, with a reasonable level of achievable deals for both buyers and sellers. The increase in stock and instructions in the second half of 2023 has made people more confident, and this trend is expected to continue. ESPC solicitor estate agents report a strong start to 2024, with high inquiry, viewing, and valuation request numbers. Sellers are being more realistic about prices, which is helping them to move on to their onward purchase. The weather can affect people's behaviour in the property market, but it seems that people are coming out of hibernation and becoming more active.

How is the Edinburgh lettings market looking so far in 2024?

In the lettings market, the demand has softened, and the time to let is longer, making it similar to the pre-pandemic market.

What is happening with the Scottish Government rental cap in 2024?

The rental cap in Scotland will end on 31st March 2024, allowing landlords to increase rent by any amount. However, tenants can appeal if they feel the increase is unjust. Landlords must give three months' notice before increasing rent, and the rent officer will refer to a tapering system to assess a fair rent. This change may lead to more movement in the rental market, but it could also make it easier to navigate. In 2023, Scotland saw five interest rate rises, making it a challenging year for landlords with fixed rents.

How is the mortgage market looking?

Mortgage rates spiked in the third quarter of 2023, causing panic among those whose rates were ending. However, rates began to stabilise and even decrease in the last quarter of the year. The mortgage market has become more competitive since the beginning of 2024, with lenders offering sub-4% rates for certain criteria. Rates are currently stable, with reductions still occurring. The Daily Mail predicts six interest rate reductions this year, but David Lauder noted that there will be rate reductions, although the number is uncertain due to variables such as inflation and global events.

Should you sell your property before buying a new one? 

It's always better to sell first or at least have your property on the market before going for a purchase. This will put you in a stronger position as a purchaser and increase the chances of your offer being accepted. If you do decide to buy first, be prepared for potential additional stress and restrictions on the type of buyer you can accept an offer from. Chains in the property market can cause stress and affect sales and purchases if any part fails.

Is now a good time to sell? 

Home report prices are catching up with the rapid price growth in the property market, so even a few percent over the home report valuation is still a good time to sell. Greater price stability overall makes it easier for people to buy and sell. For those looking to sell, there's no need to wait until spring as the market is already moving. Because of how well the market is performing already this year, the longer you leave your house sale, the more stock there will be on the market, making it more competitive. If your property has an advantageous garden, you may want to hold off until it is in bloom. 

Where are the popular areas in Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife at the moment?

The Edinburgh property market is currently stable, making it a good time to purchase. Popular areas include Leith, which has a mix of stock and great transport links, and villages beyond traditional suburbs in areas such as Midlothian and Fife. As a first-time buyer, areas like Polwarth, Roseburn, and Dalry are good options with a mix of amenities and proximity to the city centre. Different property options are available for both old and new properties, depending on the buyer's preferences and budget. Mid-level budget flats in areas like Bruntsfield, Marchmont and Comely Bank offer good negotiation opportunities.

Is a property's Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating becoming more important for buyers?

Over recent years, a property's Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating has become more important for buyers. It is important for all types of buyers including those who are planning to let a property out as there is new legislation coming in for minimum EPC ratings for rental properties. Some buyers look for features such as electric car charging points and solar panels on properties. 

Why should you use an ESPC Solicitor Estate Agent when buying, selling or both?

Even if you're only buying, using a solicitor estate agent with a legal team can provide the best of both worlds. The estate agency team can provide input on prices and marketing, while the legal team can provide advice. Solicitor estate agent firms also maintain a close relationship with clients, providing personalised advice as they move up the property ladder.

Find an ESPc solicitor estate agent now