Lothians property sales at five-year high

House sales rose 13.4 per cent. Picture: Andrew Stuart
House sales rose 13.4 per cent. Picture: Andrew Stuart
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THE number of homes being sold in the Lothians over the past two months is at its highest level for five years.

House sales rose by 13.4 per cent year on year, but prices continued to fall in most areas.

Throughout the city as a whole, average house prices fell 4.6 per cent. In the city centre itself property prices fell by an average of almost ten per cent over the same time last year.

But there was better news in the suburbs where average prices rose in some areas by around 6.4 per cent.

The city’s property hot spot was the Stockbridge/Comely Bank area, where prices rocketed 15 per cent over the last 12 months.

The figures are released today by the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre.

House sales across Edinburgh, the Lothians rose by 13.4 per cent annually and by 26.1 per cent from between April and June in 2011. Overall, the number of homes sold was at its highest level for five years.

There was also a notable rise in activity amongst sellers, with the number of homes coming on to the market between April and June up 9.7 per cent annually.

The improvement in activity has allowed sellers coming to the market this year to enjoy greater success in finding buyers. Seventeen per cent of properties brought to the market in June this year were under offer by the end of the month – up from 12 per cent on last year.

Whilst the number of homes selling has risen, the average house price in most areas is lower than was the case last year. In Edinburgh, for example, the average selling price of a property in the three months to June was £216,006, down from £226,367 last year – an annual fall of 4.6 per cent.

East Lothian saw a sharper fall in the average price, with a 13.7 per cent decline bringing the average price in the area to £195,899. The decrease in the average was largely driven by a rise in the proportion of smaller properties selling. One-bedroom homes accounted for 11.1 per cent of sales in the second quarter this year compared with just 5.7 per cent of all homes sold in the area during the second quarter of 2012.

David Marshall, business analyst with ESPC, said:“It is encouraging to see early indication that the market is starting to recover. Although early days, we are seeing signs that sales are increasing which is bringing more home to market.

“For the majority of people house prices are relative. If the value of our current home rises, it means the price we’ll have to pay for our next home will also be higher and vice versa. Ultimately what matters to most of us is that when we’re looking to move, we can find someone to buy our current property and a new home that meets our needs, so it’s encouraging to see that activity among buyers and sellers is on the increase.

“There has been a slight increase in the number of sales where the original Home Report valuation is achieved – up from 31.5 per cent last year to 34.4 per cent this year.”