Scots house prices boosted by million-pound sales

The report showed that the price of a flat in Edinburgh was higher than in Glasgow, boosting sales in the west. Picture: Jane Barlow
The report showed that the price of a flat in Edinburgh was higher than in Glasgow, boosting sales in the west. Picture: Jane Barlow
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SCOTTISH house prices jumped 2.6 per cent – or an average of £4,300 – in June, driven by a revival in million-pound home sales in Scotland.

Your Move, which compiled the research, said there was a hiatus in million pound home sales following the introduction of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), but were starting to make a comeback. Over the year to June, however, the rise is just 1.2 per cent.

The LBTT, which replaced UK stamp duty under new devolved powers for Scotland in April, left nine out of ten taxpayers better off or no worse off. However, anyone with a property priced over £750,000 is subject to the top 12 per cent tax rate, meaning many high-end sellers rushed to put their property on the market before the previous stamp duty system came to an end.

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Your Move said that, as high value sales return to normal levels, this will be reflected in more buoyant house prices.

According to the report, the number of properties sold rose by a quarter in June, with 9,265 homes sold north of the Border – the most activity since July 2014.

The Your Move data showed that properties in East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire experienced price jumps of 26 per cent and 21 per cent respectively in June, boosted by a strong number of higher end properties for sale.

Christine Campbell, Your Move managing director in Scotland, said: “The calm annual house price change of 1.2 per cent recorded in June 2015 belies tumultuous currents of activity beneath the surface. The Scottish housing market has been buffeted around by the changing tide of taxation, but is now back in smoother waters.

“Average property prices surged 2.6 per cent in June, lifting them safely to £169,227 – level with last December – after bobbing around on many ebbs and flows over the last few months.”

She added: “More generally, the LBTT front-loaded sales into the start of the year, and activity dragged its heels throughout April and May, with the general election adding to the dampening effect.”

The report pointed to the discrepancy between house prices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, saying that, at £200,000, the average price of a flat in Edinburgh is more than one and half times as much as the cost of the typical flat in Glasgow.

“As a result, Glasgow has experienced the strongest jump in house purchases overall, with Q2 sales up 18 per cent on 2014, while Edinburgh sales have seen just a 2 per cent upswing over the same period,” added Ms Campbell.

Dr John Boyle, director of research at estate agency Rettie & Co, said: “These latest statistics show that the housing market in Scotland is stabilising, after a period of solid growth for around 18 months from mid-2013, and adjusting to quite marked political events and changes.

“We anticipate stronger market recovery over the next year or two due to improving economic activity levels, consumer sentiment, bank lending and new build activity.”