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Surge in interest

Borders rail providing boost to homes market

Borders Rail
Opening of rail line is a boost

A surge in the number of properties being sold in the Scottish Borders could be attributed to the popularity of the Borders railway, according to property firm SPC Scotland.

Property transactions in the region have increased by 17.7% year on year, while the average selling price has decreased by 3.5% to £172,008.

It is not seeing the pressures on the market from a shortage of properties, as experienced elsewhere in Scotland, says the company.

The Scottish Borders market is more favourable to buyers than in Glasgow and Edinburgh, where properties are selling quicker and for increasing selling prices. The average selling price in Edinburgh has increased by 6.5% over the last three months, compared to the same period last year, while the average selling price in Glasgow has increased by 9.8%.   

While many buyers looking for a family home in Edinburgh are being priced out, they can find affordable family-sized housing in a rural Borders setting, and most of these properties sell for at or around their home report value.

David Kilshaw from BSPC said: “With the Borders railway proving much more popular than originally projected, there is clear evidence emerging that more and more people are choosing to live in the Borders and work in Edinburgh. Galashiels and Melrose, and the villages on their periphery, are within fifteen minutes’ drive of the park-and-ride facility at Tweedbank are now considered within reasonable commuting distance of Edinburgh city centre.”

For Scotland overall, the most recent quarterly house price statistics from Registers of Scotland, covering the period from January to March 2017, shows that the average price of a residential property in Scotland is £162,374, a 2.1% increase compared with the same period in the previous year.

The volume of residential sales is also up, with a 4% increase from the same period in 2017. Glasgow is selling the highest number of properties across the country, overtaking Edinburgh, which has its third consecutive quarter of year-on-year decreases in volume. Aberdeen has seen year-on-year declines for the past three years, and which is linked to the decline in the oil market.

Clackmannanshire has seen a 20.3% increase in the number of properties being sold, and a 7.7% increase in average selling prices. With an average price of £122,508, properties are more affordable than the average £222,560 in Edinburgh, indicating that buyers are choosing to look outside of Edinburgh for a property. 

Tayside is also experiencing a sellers’ market, with a 22% decrease in the number of homes being brought to market and a 5.2% increase in average selling prices (£151,366). With a 1.35% increase in the number of properties being sold, solicitors are reporting instances of homes in traditionally popular areas like Dundee’s West End and Broughty Ferry changing hands within days of going on the market.

Lynne Hill, manager at Tayside Solicitors Property Centre said: “Without a doubt this is an opportune time for potential sellers to bring a property onto the market. The market is very buoyant and we are frequently seeing properties going under offer within days of the ‘For Sale’ boards going up.

“There is an air of confidence in the market, but a shortage of properties in some areas has certainly been contributing to the price movement we have been detecting over recent months.”

Orlaith Brogan, spokeswoman for SPC Scotland said: “What we are seeing is that properties in the Borders and Clackmannanshire are proving popular as they offer a more affordable housing option for families and they provide easy links to both the countryside and to cities for commuting.

“With a shortage of properties for sale being reported by many SPCs across Scotland, we finding that homes are selling quickly and achieving over their Home Report value.”


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