Home sales plummet in Edinburgh, Fife, Borders

The volume of residential property sales in Edinburgh, Lothians, Fife and the Scottish Borders fell 9.2% in the first quarter of 2020, according to the latest report from ESPC.

“Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and resultant social distancing measures, the decline in sales volume was concentrated in the last two weeks of March,” said ESPC.

The number of homes coming to market also fell 8.4% year-on-year.

Similarly, the decline in homes coming to market was concentrated in the last two weeks of March. In Edinburgh, there was a 16.9% decrease in sales volume during these two weeks and a 10.2% decline in volume of property listings year-on-year.

However, average property selling prices have so far remained relatively steady.

ESPC business analyst Jamie Fraser-Davidson said: “In the first quarter of 2020, there has been reasonably significant decreases in property sales volume and the number of homes coming to market in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders.

“These declines were concentrated in the last fortnight of March, caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK and resultant social distancing measures.

“However, during this three month period, average property selling prices and the average percentage of property valuation achieved have remained relatively steady compared to last year.”

ESPC CEO Paul Hilton said: “As expected, the current social distancing measures have impacted the volume of property sales and number of homes coming to market.

“Prior to the last two weeks of March, we were seeing a strong start to the year, both in terms of sales and instructions.

“We expect overall market activity to be much lower than usual for this time of year while these measures are in place.

“However, since the commencement of social distancing and the daily restrictions on everyday lives, some of our firms are still reporting that they are receiving offers on properties, often over the Home Report valuation.

“This indicates that confidence remains in what has historically been a very resilient marketplace.”

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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.