Kirsty McLuckie: Property prices continue to rise as demand outstrips supply

The last couple of years have seen a bit of a roller coaster ride in terms of the residential property market.

Picture: Feodora/Adobe
Picture: Feodora/Adobe

From almost total shutdown at the beginning of the pandemic, the bounce back was swift and prices have continued to rise as demand outstrips supply.

But the picture is not uniform and there have been surges in different areas for what seems to be a variety of reasons.

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The latest figures seem to suggest that after the great exit from cities of the last two years, the reverse might be happening now.

According to data from the ESPC, the average property selling price across the whole swath of Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders rose by an annual 2.6 per cent to £271,493 during December 2021 to February 2022.

But property selling prices declined slightly for homes in two of 2021’s hotspots – the Borders, and West Fife and Kinross.

This is seen as a sign that the trend for properties located further afield from the Capital is gradually abating, as we exit the pandemic and find new rhythms – maybe a return to the office makes these longer commutes less attractive.

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Edinburgh properties experienced a 2 per cent price rise during December-February, with an average selling price of £286,617.

However, looking closer, there are dramatic variations between the city’s districts or in different property types, giving us more of an insight into the type of buyers currently in the market.

In Edinburgh city centre, the average selling price decreased by 3.7 per cent. In particular, two-bedroom flats in the New Town and West End experienced a notable 12.2 per cent reduction to an average £429,390.

By contrast, homes in Edinburgh’s south-west experienced a near 20 per cent rise in average selling price, selling for £401,136 on average.

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And two particular types of Capital property saw significant increases in average selling price in the last three months – at opposite ends of the market.

Three-bedroom houses in Cramond, Barnton and Cammo experienced an 18.3 per cent rise to £468,182, while one-bedroom flats in Abbeyhill and Meadowbank saw their selling prices grow 13.6 per cent to an average of £180,629.

Cost-conscious first-time buyers should note – one beds in Dunfermline have an average price of half that, if you are prepared to commute 40 minutes.

Alternatively, for £129,952, you could buy an average two-bed in Sighthill, which is becoming a consideration for first-time buyers, inside the city’s bypass and with good transport links.

In West Lothian, prices saw a huge year-on-year increase of 38.4 per cent. The area is seen to offer a regular train service, additional space for families and a good work-life balance for those who commute.

As a nation, we might be realising that our ties to the city are a bit more binding than the dream of upping sticks and moving to the country represents.

But one pandemic shift remains – the ideal of living by the sea.

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Buyers across the board continued to pay over Home Report valuations in all areas, but the highest levels were paid for coastal locations.

- Kirsty McLuckie is property editor at The Scotsman

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