SCOTLAND is experiencing a “mini housing boom” with prices rocketing by more than seven per cent in February – six times the rate for England and Wales and almost double the next fastest part of the UK, according to figures from estate agency Your Move.
Some of the growth was due to fewer transactions, a typical February trait, along with a relatively small number of high-value sales in the Morningside area of Edinburgh.
These pushed the city’s monthly rate to 7.3 per cent – more than half of the monthly increase in Scotland.
Nevertheless, Your Move’s housing price index indicated that the market remains strong with a large majority of local authorities seeing growth in the last year.
While prices in England and Wales rose just 0.1 per cent month-on-month in February, in Scotland they were up 2.3 per cent.
Overall, the average price in Scotland is up more than £12,000 a year, leaving the average property worth £182,936.
“Scotland continues to enjoy unexpectedly strong housing growth – with prices rising at their fastest rate in a decade,” said Your Move’s managing director in Scotland, Christine Campbell. “Both high-priced property and the major cities are fuelling a mini housing boom.”
Alan Penman, business development manager for Walker Fraser Steele, one of Scotland’s oldest firms of chartered surveyors and part of the LSL group of companies, added: “Scotland’s market grows ever stronger as the rest of the UK weakens.
“But, while price growth might be returning to the levels of the last housing boom, transactions remain well down.
“The attractiveness of Scotland’s centres such as Edinburgh is matched only by the tightness of property supply there.”
Monthly house price growth in Scotland is now running at its fastest since 2004, with the exception of the month before the introduction of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) in 2015.
Annual house price growth is now at its fastest since April 2008, which signalled the end of the last housing boom.
Growth in February was boosted by the sale of eight new properties in the Morningside EH10 area of Edinburgh for an average £1.15 million each.
Even without these, price growth for February in Scotland would be two per cent, but growth is heavily dependent on Scotland’s two big cities.
Edinburgh accounts for 28 per cent of the increase in prices over the year, and Glasgow a further 14 per cent.
Your Move said there was still strength across the market, with almost a third of local authorities in Scotland setting a new peak price in February.
That included high-priced homes in East Renfrewshire – which was second only to Edinburgh – with monthly growth of 7.1 per cent, and East Dunbartonshire, which rose by a more modest 1.8 per cent.
However, the market strength also included mid-priced areas like Angus (up 5.2 per cent in the month), Falkirk (2.9 per cent) and, cheaper still, North Lanarkshire (2.5 per cent), where average prices at £131,293 are well below the national average.
Only four areas across Scotland have seen no rise in the last year: Stirling (down 3.2 per cent), East Ayrshire (down 1.9 per cent), Aberdeen City (down 1.2 per cent) and South Ayrshire (down 0.6 per cent).
Source: The National