Property prices in Scotland dropped in February for the first time since March 2016, official figures have shown.
Registers of Scotland figures showed the average price of a property in Scotland in February 2019 was £145,762 – a decrease of 0.2 per cent on February in the previous year.
Aberdeen saw the greatest decrease, with prices falling seven per cent to an average of £149,435, while neighbouring Aberdeenshire also suffered a fall in values of 5.8 per cent.
Meanwhile, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that overall UK house prices are continuing to slow to the lowest annual increase in seven years, driven by dramatically falling prices in the previously buoyant market of London, where the value of a typical property slumped by 3.8 per cent.
Overall, prices rose just 1.7 per cent in January down to 0.6 per cent in February according to the latest official ONS figures – the lowest annual increase since September 2012. The average UK house price was £226,000 in February, £1,000 higher than a year ago.
North of the border, official figures showed that the biggest price increases were in Midlothian and Perth and Kinross where average prices increased by 9.9 per cent to £185,753 and 8.8 per cent to £192,631 respectively. Average price increases were recorded in the majority of local authorities – 22 out of 32 council areas – when comparing prices with the previous year.
Janet Egdell, accountable officer at Registers of Scotland, said: “The average price of a property in Scotland in February 2019 signalled the first annual decrease since March 2016, falling by 0.2 per cent in the year to February 2019.
“Prices increased in around two thirds of local authority areas and different property types showed a mixed picture, indicating that the market is highly variable across the country in this time of uncertainty.”
The volume of residential sales in Scotland in December 2018 was 7,392 – a decrease of 8.2 per cent on the original provisional estimate for December 2017. This compares with decreases of two per cent in England and 5.1 per cent in Wales, and an increase of 4.3 per cent in Northern Ireland.
The fall in London prices was the largest drop since mid-2009. However, the UK capital still has the highest average house price at £460,000.
Ben Brettell, senior economist at financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Annual UK house price growth slowed to 0.6 per cent in February, the lowest annual rate in seven years. London prices fell 3.8 per cent, their largest annual fall since August 2009 in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis.
“This follows efforts by policymakers to cut down on riskier mortgage lending, though clearly uncertainty over Brexit will have played a large part in the capital’s faltering housing market.”
Mike Hardie, head of inflation at the ONS, said: “Annual house price growth has slowed to the lowest rate in close to seven years.”
By JANE BRADLEY