House price rise in Inverness fastest in Scotland

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House prices in Inverness have risen further than in any other part of Scotland over the past 20 years, according to research published today.

The average cost of a property in UK’s most northerly city has increased by 259 per cent since 1998, the study by Bank of Scotland found.

When Scotland last qualified for the World Cup in 1998, a house in the city known as “the Gateway to the Highlands” was £53,118 on average, but this year the figure stands at £190,537.

Inverness’ high quality of life and improving transport connections with other parts of Scotland and the wider UK were both cited as key reasons behind the rise.

House price values in the city also started from a low base in 1998, with demand for properties increasing over the past few decades as more people choose to retire to the area.

The research also showed that the average price of a home in Scotland has almost trebled since 1998, rising from just £63,559 to £174,712 today, an increase of 175 per cent.

Edinburgh has also seen its property fortunes rise dramatically and is now the second most expensive place in Scotland to buy a home, with an average price of £246,063.

Westhill in Aberdeenshire remains the most expensive place in Scotland to buy a home, thanks to the effects of the North Sea oil and gas industry on the region throughout the 2000s.

Topping the table in 1998 when the average home cost £91,746, two decades on it is still number one, ranking slightly above the nation’s capital with an average price of £250,787.

Some of the biggest house price rises were recorded in Fife. In 1998, Lochgelly, Leven, Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy appeared in the ten least expensive places to buy.

But 20 years later there are no longer any Fife towns in the bottom ten, with the average price in the region rising by an average of £98,394 or 181 per cent. In Lochgelly, prices have trebled.

Graham Blair, Bank of Scotland mortgage director, said: “The increase in house prices in the capital shouldn’t come as any shock, but our research also shows a real boom in commuter areas such as Fife, with prices sky-rocketing over the last 20 years.

“Elsewhere, towns like Westhill near Aberdeen have seen the benefits of the oil and gas industry, with Westhill 2.7 times more expensive than in 1998.”

Researchers also studied how the cost of alcohol has risen over the past two decades, with more bad news for those drowning their sorrows at Scotland’s failure to qualify for Russia 2018.

While a shot of whisky cost an average of just £1.34 in 1998, now it is £2.86. The price of a pint of lager has also risen from £1.89 to £3.63.