The Current Scottish Property Market

Whether you are buying or selling, it’s always good to take a look at what the property market is doing before you make a start. Taking a realistic look at what’s going on lets you gauge whether it’s really the best time to make the leap and cash in your investment, or look to purchase. For Scotland in April 2018, we saw growth of 7.3% on average house price sales against the same period last year. In comparison to England and Wales with fairly depressing growth of .7% year on year, Scottish house prices are on the up. In fact, they are on a high, with levels better than they have been since before the 2008 crash, and this in spite of the general concerns about the unknown impact of Brexit as we look towards 2019.

The table below shows exactly what the property market looks like across the local authority areas and counties.


You would expect to see growth in the cities and Edinburgh tops the list for the highest growth in house prices, not only for Scotland but across the whole of the UK.  It’s a competitive market, with fewer houses on the market in the last 18 months and this has driven the house prices up.  Less available property but high demand from increased numbers of people looking to buy has created a very strong sellers market.  Interestingly there is a relative lack of supply on houses below £250,000 but the high-end market has pushed Edinburgh above and beyond its peers and other University cities.  Big money makes an impact and a prime example were the million-pound sales of eight new developments in the sought after Edinburgh neighbourhood of Morningside which actually pushed the national house price growth by an additional 0.3%.

Glasgow too is seeing growth in its housing market – responsible for 14% of Scottish national growth overall. Outwith the cities Clackmannanshire, East Renfrewshire and Angus are all seeing house price monthly increases of over 5%, all pointing towards specific areas driving up that national figure.  There are many reasons for growth but one which is consistent across the country is the ‘good school factor’.  Schools with great reputations, lying within particular postcode catchment areas are in turn driving up the house prices for parents willing to pay higher house prices in order to secure the right school for their child.  This has been seen in a number of regions, none more so than East Renfrewshire which has seen a marked increase in house prices over the last decade.

A recent report by Savills found that Scottish house prices have risen consecutively for the last 3 years and they forecast an increase of 17% in Scottish house prices by 2022, significantly higher than London and the UK as a whole.   Head of Residential Research for Savills, Faisal Choudhry, said: “Whilst London and its surrounding commuter areas have been most affected by current political and economic uncertainty, there remains more confidence in the Scottish markets, where there is capacity for further growth in values.”

So this is all good news for the Scottish market.  However, there are some areas which are struggling to rise to the occasion. Formerly oil-rich boom town Aberdeen is still fighting the local impact of downturn in the oil and house prices there have been negatively impacted with declining house prices. A great time to buy and snap up a bargain, not so great if you are looking at selling.   Other areas seeing drops are Stirling, East and South Ayrshire.  The upside is that each of these areas signify affordability for those looking to get on the property ladder.  For example, Stirling, with its 2018 annual drop of 3.2% in house prices continued its 4-year streak and was once again listed as the most affordable city to buy a home in a Bank of Scotland report released in February this year.

In comparison to the rest of the UK, Scotland is in a good position with a growing housing market and experts agree that this is set to continue in the immediate future.  Anomalies that have impacted specific areas continue to play a role. These include school catchment areas driving up prices, Edinburgh’s million-pound properties and growth areas such as Finneston in Glasgow’s west end. The average house price in Scotland in February 2018 was £182,936 and other than a few local authority areas, the majority are seeing growth.


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