Pandemic sparks 20% increase in Scottish Borders house prices

House prices across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders have risen by nearly eight per cent in the past 12 months, new figures suggest.

The latest figures from Edinburgh Solicitors' Property Centre show house prices across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders have risen by nearly eight per cent in the past 12 months

The latest data from the Edinburgh Solicitors’ Property Centre (ESPC) shows the average selling price of property in the region between August and October was £270,983, up 7.9 per cent compared to last year.

The biggest rise has been seen in the Scottish Borders, where the cost of a home has jumped by more than 20 per cent to £249,373.

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Properties in West Fife and Kinross saw a 14.3 per cent increase, while those in Midlothian went up by 9.5 per cent.

East Lothian and West Lothian experienced average rises of 7.5 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively.

Edinburgh saw a hike of 6.2 per cent, with the average selling price reaching £289,510.

Homes have also been selling faster this year than last, with properties across the four regions spending an average of 18 days on the market before a sale was agreed – three days quicker than in 2019.

Homes in East Fife saw the biggest decrease in selling time, taking just 33 days compared to 55 a year ago.

The report also shows the numbers of homes put on the market rose by 44.4 per cent over the past three months, although the volume of property sales was down 5.6 per cent compared to 2019.

The average amount paid above Home Report valuations during the period grew slightly, from three per cent to 4.1 per cent.

One-bedroom flats in the capital’s Leith Walk, Easter Road, Pilrig and Bonnington areas achieved the highest amounts above their value, with buyers paying nearly 10 per cent above the guide price.

It’s thought lifestyle changes sparked by the coronavirus pandemic are influencing current house-hunting trends.

“Over the past three months the Scottish property market has remained exceptionally busy for this time of year,” said ESPC chief executive Paul Hilton.

“We are still seeing far more houses and flats coming to market year-on-year, along with strong competition for many of those homes.

“Properties in the Borders have seen a significant jump in average selling price year-on-year, and this could be a result of lockdown restrictions and changes in daily routines encouraging people to consider a home in the country.

“However, we are still seeing high competition for homes in Edinburgh, suggesting that many people continue to recognise the benefits of city life.

“While activity is generally much higher than usual for this time of year, we are seeing some month-on-month cooling in certain activities such as viewing requests and home report downloads.

“However, this is to be expected as we approach a typically quieter time of year for the property market.”

The Scottish Government has confirmed that house moves will be permitted across all five tiers of the new protection levels, provided the necessary guidance is followed.

Mr Hilton added: “Our agents have reported that buyers and sellers are adhering to the current guidance well and staying safe while moving home.”

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