Scots home sales £8bn in first half; builders catch up

Jacqueline Law

Law firm Aberdein Considine’s latest quarterly Property Monitor recorded residential property transactions in Scotland worth more than £8 billion between January and June this year.

That’s the highest since 2008 — thanks partly to a strong second quarter.

The report reveals that almost 26,000 sales concluded between April and June, nearly 1,000 more than the same period last year.

The activity pushed the average price of a Scottish home 1.6% higher to £172,189 despite the market stalling elsewhere in the UK.

Aberdein Considine managing partner Jacqueline Law said Scottish buyers were “taking a long-term view on the market” amid the current economic uncertainty.

“It’s a considered decision which most purchasers take with a medium to long-term view – and these figures suggest people are looking beyond the current political and economic headwinds with a degree of confidence,” said Law.

Edinburgh – where the average home now costs £264,943 – remains the most expensive place in Scotland to buy a home, just ahead of East Lothian, where prices have jumped 15.2% to £260,399.

Glasgow’s two most popular suburbs, East Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire, also recorded lofty average prices of £250,017 and £244,902 respectively.

Aberdeen had its first rise in prices since the end of 2017. The cost of a home in the Granite City rose 1.7% to hit £202,011.

And Dundee enjoyed a 12.6% increase in sales during the second quarter, with the average price of a home in the city rising almost 6% to £148,790.

Law added: “The regions with the highest property prices – Edinburgh, East Lothian and Glasgow’s more affluent suburbs – have a common tie, which is a lack of homes for sale.

“Average sale prices in these areas are reflective of the high demand for what limited stock is coming to market.

Regardless of what kind of deal – if any – the UK leaves the EU with on October 31, many Scots are pressing ahead with purchase decisions in order to provide short to medium term security.

“However, in many areas, there are simply not enough homes on the market to meet that demand, which in turn is driving up prices for the ones which do.

“We’ve seen a similar pattern in cities like Stirling and Perth over recent quarters, where prices are edging towards the £200,000-mark despite sales falling.”

However, the Property Monitor report also shows that housebuilders are catching up, with new-build completions topping 5,553 during the most recent quarter, the highest recorded figure since the third quarter of 2008.

More homes are in the pipeline in East Lothian and West Lothian with more than 5,000 new homes approved. A 3,500-home Winchburgh project in West Lothian is attracting a great deal of interest.

Builders across Fife, Dundee, Perth and West Dunbartonshire have also made announcements in recent months which will see hundreds of news homes built in these areas during 2019.

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.