28 Apr 2015
The average Scottish house price has risen by more than 13% in just three months to the highest since records began.
Every local authority area in Scotland enjoyed an increase in property value during the last quarter, according to new data release this morning by the Registers of Scotland (RoS).
The average house price in Scotland from January to March was £173,830, the highest figure recorded for any quarter since RoS began compiling quarterly statistics in 2003.
However, Scottish property expert Bob Fraser, Senior Property Partner at Aberdein Considine, believes the record figures are a one-off spike – caused by a rush to beat the Scottish Government’s Stamp Duty replacement which increased the tax burden on larger homes from April 1st.
“These figures are for registered sales, and are therefore indicative of the market at the turn of the year,” he said.
“As a result, the increase in average price is probably down to a surge in sales at the top end of the market as buyers looked to settle before the introduction of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.
“What we have here is a larger percentage of sales coming from the top end of the market, which drives up the average sale price.”
Mr Fraser said the next set of figures from Registers of Scotland will better reflect what is happening in the spring market, describing it as “a mixed picture”
across the country.
“The introduction of the new tax has fuelled the lower end of the market, where the amount of tax paid is now less,” he said.
“Geographically, areas like Edinburgh and Perth are very busy. For example, we took an average of just six days to sell a home in Perth in March.
“The lower and middle sections of the market are still very busy in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, partly due to the tax change encouraging more first-time buyers on to the housing ladder.
“It is too early to predict how the top end of the north-east market will be affected by the new tax and the fall in oil price, indeed, it is likely to be the later in the year before the true impact is known.
“Nevertheless, it is important to stress that banks are still lending – and with the right pricing and marketing, these properties are still selling. Going forward, sellers may have to adjust to a slight shift in market conditions.”
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The Herald: Through the roof
The Daily Express: Stamp duty replacement sparks Scots house price rise
The Scotsman: Scottish house prices rise to record high