PROPERTIES around Aberdeen are selling faster than anywhere else in the UK.
Three Aberdeen or Aberdeenshire postcodes took the lead as the fastest-selling hotspots over the past year, with a further three featuring in the top 20.
Homes are selling in an average of just nine days in AB22, with AB12 and AB32 taking second and third places with just 12 days each, according to research from residential property experts Move with Us.
Property experts said Aberdeenshire’s skilled workforce, with many people working in the oil industry, was driving fast sales in the region. The AB22 postcode covers Bridge of Don, which attracts families working in the city.
A high demand for rental properties for short-term workers who often commute close to their workplace during the week and travel home at weekends was also driving demand, as landlords snap up flats in the city and outlying areas.
“Demand in the current market is predominantly in flats anywhere within a commutable distance of Aberdeen,” said Bob Fraser, senior property partner from law firm Aberdein Considine.
“The region attracts a large number of highly paid workers in the oil and gas industry. Due to high rental yields in the region, the higher-level workers in the industry often buy property and lease it to the newcomers who are often on shorter contracts.”
He added: “Over the last few years, the top end of the market has been driving sales in the area with an increase in the number of four to six-bedroom family homes being built which are marketed in excess of £500,000. These move in slightly slower timescales than flats. Now, the market has returned to a more traditional model with lower-end properties driving sales.”
But John McRae, spokesman for the Aberdeen Solicitors Property Centre, said that increased mortgage financing available from banks was fuelling the housing market – putting cities such as Aberdeen at risk of creating a price bubble.
“This is not good news,” he said. “Young people are now finding they need just 5 per cent for a deposit rather than the 15 per cent they needed before and it means that is putting pressure on the market in a way that is not sustainable.
“Aberdeen has higher wages than average, so it is highlighted more strongly.”
Peter Ryder, chairman of Solicitors Property Centres Scotland, said: “Over the last six months, demand has increased significantly in all areas in Scotland. All solicitor property centres are reporting increased sales and shorter selling times.”
Aberdeen and Edinburgh continue to lead the way, with all other city areas not far behind
Other fast-moving locations in the UK were in Sutton, Greater London, where properties in the postcode SM5 are selling in just 15 days. This was closely followed by a city centre postcode in Cambridge and an area of Bristol, where properties are selling in just 16 and 18 days respectively.
Robin King, director of Move with Us, said: “The postcodes in the top 20 highlight areas where there is a skilled workforce, indicating higher wages and subsequently a fast-paced property market.”
The average property price in the top-selling postcode of AB22 is just £179,458, while AB12 and AB32 attract average selling prices of £280,377 and £319,00.