Average Scottish house price lowest in UK

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House prices in Scotland have gone up 83 per cent in the past decade but are still the lowest in the UK, new figures have shown.

The price of the average Scottish house rose to 111,780 in 2010, the smallest figure for any area in the UK, according to the Bank of Scotland's report.

The statistics, based on mortgage approval data rather than completed house sales, showed prices in other areas increasing by up to 130 per cent between 2000 and 2010.

The figures show the average house price in Scotland at the end of 2010 was 52,530 less than the UK average, and under half that of Greater London, where the average price was 250,720.

A spokesman for the Edinburgh and east of Scotland property-marketing group ESPC said a combination of lower pay and an unwillingness to accumulate debt could explain the difference.

"Scotland has traditionally not reached the same peaks and troughs in terms of house prices as other parts of the UK. The main contributor for this is the lower average salary levels seen in Scotland," he said.

"Scots are also generally more reluctant to take on significant amounts of debt, which acts as a restraint."

Only three areas had smaller rises - the south-east of England and Greater London, both of which already had the highest prices in Britain, and East Anglia.

The second-lowest average house price is in Yorkshire and the Humber, where house prices average 14,000 more than Scotland, whilst the figure for the north of England is 16,000 higher. Both had average prices 6,000 below Scotland's ten years ago.

Suren Thiru, housing economist at Bank of Scotland, said: "Scottish property prices have risen steadily since 2000, if a little more subdued than some of the price gains recorded in most other regions."

He also said the statistics were a sign of more affordable housing in Scotland. But the gulf between north and south is narrowing - prices were 80 per cent higher in the south ten years ago and the difference is now 56 per cent.

"Lots of those places with lower averages as the start of the decade had a capacity for price gain," Mr Thiru said.

"The traditional home of prices gains, the south, was left behind by strong growth in the north, where prices more than doubled over the period.

"However, recently there has been a slight reversal of this trend, with the housing market in the south of England outperforming the rest of the country over the past few years."

There were areas in Scotland which saw significant increases in property prices.

Penicuik, where prices were up 179 per cent on 2000, saw the second-largest increase in the UK, with the average house price now 172,476 compared with 61,824 ten years ago.

There has also been a massive rise in prices in some areas in the north of the country, with prices climbing by more than double the average Scottish increase.In Irvine, Ayrshire, the average house price climbed 172 per cent to 115,724, whilst in Peterhead it jumped 171 per cent to 138,718. Inverness saw a 154 per cent increase.

In Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, the average house price is now 218,174, a 151 per cent increase compared with 2000.

Other areas to see sizable increases include Port Glasgow, where prices rose 147 per cent, and Cupar in Fife, where prices were up 152 per cent.