Scots family and couple swap houses in UK first

A couple and a family in Scotland have swapped their houses permanently in what is said to be a UK first.

John and Kelly Davie (right) outside their new home, previously owned by David and Margaret West (left), in Kinross. Picture: Sandy Young/PA Wire

David West and his wife Margaret who were thinking of down-sizing have now swapped houses with a young family looking for a bigger home.

Mr West, a duty manager at a student residence, listed his three-bedroom, detached family home in Kinross, in Perth and Kinross, on the HouseSimple website in May of this year.

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John Davie found Mr West’s house online and put in a home viewing request to visit the property, as was looking for a larger house for his wife, Kelly, and their two-year-old daughter, Lucy, to live in.

While he was looking round the house Mr West mentioned that he and his wife were thinking of down-sizing as their two adult daughters were leaving the family nest.

When Mr Davie, a data analyst, mentioned he had a two-bedroom semi-detached house they had not put on the market yet, Mr West suggested a home swap.

He and his wife viewed Mr Davie’s house, also in Kinross, and both parties confirmed a home swap and put in offers on each other’s properties.

They swapped on 12 October.

Mr West said: “We put our house up on HouseSimple as it was the cheapest way to list our home, and had used the site previously for renting so knew the interface well.

“The house swap allowed us flexibility on the move date and enabled us to solve moving-in issues such as finding the stop cock when I needed to isolate the water in the bathroom, and the knack to locking the patio door.”

Mr Davie added: “The house swap made perfect sense as both our properties had what the other wanted.

“The process of finding David’s house online made it convenient to find the property we wanted.”

Sophie Gosling, co-founder of HouseSimple, said the two families had made UK house purchasing history.

“David and John have provided a glimpse into the future of home buying,” she said.

“Our service has meant John could easily find David online, and we’re really happy for them and their families that they have found their dream homes in time for Christmas.”

Meanwhile, a house price study released today reveals house prices in Glasgow are rising fastest than any other city in the UK.

The Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index show that house prices in the city are up 7.9 per cent over the past 12 months.

Housing market activity in Scotland’s two largest cities has picked up markedly over 2017, with Glasgow closely followed by Edinburgh where annual house price inflation is running at 7.6 per cent.

However, Aberdeen continues to register price falls due to the impact of the falling oil price, with average values down 3.7 per cent over the past 12 months.

The annual headline growth rate reached 6.3 per cent in November up from 4.9 per cent a year ago. This rate of house price inflation has defied conservative growth forecasts by many market commentators at the start of the year and accelerated over the last six months driven by strong demand for housing in regional cities outside London and southern England.

Hometrack expects overall UK city house price growth of 5 per cent over the next 12 months.