Edinburgh property market ‘on fire’ as prices soar

Comely Bank, where prices are now back to pre-recession  levels ' and higher than Home Report valuations. Picture: Alex Hewitt
Comely Bank, where prices are now back to pre-recession levels ' and higher than Home Report valuations. Picture: Alex Hewitt
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THE property market in some parts of Edinburgh has reached pre-recession levels, estate agents have claimed, as homes in prime locations are flying off the market – and selling for well above home ­report valuations.

Some properties are going for 20 per cent above their ­“offers over” price, while houses and flats in popular areas are snapped up less than 24 hours after going up for sale.

A Circus Lane mews house sold for 'well over' its asking price within a day

A Circus Lane mews house sold for 'well over' its asking price within a day

The level of activity in hotspot areas such as Bruntsfield, Marchmont, Stockbridge and Comely Bank is the highest seen since 2008, when the property market was hit by the global recession.

Experts said a resurgence in the buy-to-let market, as well as that for mid-market family homes is driving demand.

Blair Stewart, partner at estate agency Strutt and Parker, said that the market for properties selling for between £250,000 and £350,000 was now at pre-2008 levels.

“The market is on fire, especially in city centre areas of Edinburgh,” he said. “People going for properties there are finding they are offering well over the home report price and are being repeatedly outbid. At this level, we are definitely seeing a bubble similar to that before the recession.

“This will filter down to other parts of the property market – particularly the high end – and we are already beginning to see evidence of this.”

He pointed to a mews house on Circus Lane in Stockbridge, which recently sold for well over the £725,000 asking price within a day of going on the market.

“That is something we haven’t been seeing until recently,” he said. “Certain properties are going very quickly.”

A flat in Comely Bank marketed by DJ Alexander Legal attracted as many as eight notes of interest in just a couple of days before going to closing date – and sold for £30,000 over the home report valuation, while an Old Town property, for sale with Mov8 Real Estate, sold for 20 per cent over the asking price.

David Marshall, business manager at Mov8 Real Estate, said sellers in most parts of Edinburgh could expect their property to be snapped up “within a matter of weeks”, while homes in prime locations were selling within days.

He said: “For the past few years, up to three-quarters of properties were going for under the home report valuation. Now many of them are attracting bids of significantly more.

“Generally, where this happens you’re looking at properties achieving 5 to 10 per cent above valuation, but there’s a number are going for significantly more. Earlier this month, we had a property in the Old Town that went under offer for more than 20 per cent above home report valuation.”

Average house prices rose sharply in Scotland between January and March, climbing year-on-year by 13.3 per cent to £173,830, the highest quarterly figure since Registers of Scotland began compiling statistics in 2003.

Rob Trotter, business development manager at DJ Alexander Legal, said both family homes and prime investment property were at a premium.

“We are definitely seeing a return to the pre-recession days in certain areas with certain types of property,” he said. “You are seeing family homes in prime areas getting snapped up very quickly and also little one-bedroom flats in areas which might not be considered so sought after, but have perfect letting potential.”

The Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre this week revealed that the average price of a house in Edinburgh, Fife and the Lothians has risen by 18 per cent since this time last year, with prices in Edinburgh city centre up by 26 per cent.