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Just 15 days to sell a property

Edinburgh struggling to cope with homes demand


First year-on-year increase in volumes (photo by Terry Murden)

The property market in and around Edinburgh is struggling to keep up with demand, with sellers taking just two weeks to find a buyer.

New figures from ESPC show east central Scotland continues to be a hotspot even as other data shows a general slowdown spreading across the UK.

The wider Edinburgh area has seen a 5% increase in the number of properties being sold over the last three months, the first sales increase since the beginning of 2016, according to the latest analysis from ESPC.

Similarly, the number of homes brought to market between May and July increased by 2.2%, which is the first increase reported since the beginning of the year.

A lack of stock is still an issue, with many agents reporting that there are not enough properties on the market to satisfy buyer demand. 

Lack of availability has seen selling times speed up – 15 days in Edinburgh – and with 87.5% of properties in the city meeting or exceeding their Home Report valuation.

The UK picture continues to be patchy. A survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) shows the balance of UK surveyors reporting price rises in July was down from 7% in June. This was partly because more surveyors in the South East of England reported house price falls than the number reporting increases.

Its survey shows the Scottish property market was stagnant in July with a fall in the number of new instructions and it repeated its warnings last month that the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) was continuing to blight the sale of higher end homes.

Anecdotal evidence points to difficulties in selling these higher value homes, even in Edinburgh.

However, activity at the lower end of the market continues to be buoyant. One bedroom flats in Dalry, Gorgie, Slateford and Chesser are showing the largest year-on-year increases in average selling prices, up almost 20% over the last three months, and 9.5% above Home Report valuation. Leith is also proving popular.

ESPC’s business analyst Maria Botha-Lopez said: “This is the first year-on-year increase in sales and properties listed that we’ve seen since the first quarter of 2016 when volumes were driven up by the second homes supplementary tax, which created a forestalling effect. Potential buyers brought forward their plans to purchase a new property due to this extra tax.

“While there is generally a slowdown in the market over the summer months, ESPC member firms for the most part expect listings, sales, selling prices and time to sell to remain roughly the same over the next three months.

“One and two bedrooms are in high demand, but again, a lack of stock is driving up the prices and making it more difficult for first time buyers to get a foot on the ladder. Anecdotally, agents are reporting that there are fewer one bedroom flats coming to the market because they are being kept on as rental properties.

“The Gorgie and Dalry area is showing the largest increase in average selling prices, and Abbeyhill and Meadowbank areas are also proving a popular place to buy a one bedroom flat, with a 17.1% increase in average selling prices. With a one bedroom flat in Leith now selling for an average of £139,518, attention is now turning to up-and-coming areas in the city.”

Key points

  1. The average selling price in east central Scotland between May and July of this year has increased by 6.7%  to £238,703 when compared with the same period last year.

  2. The number of homes sold in east central Scotland over the last three months increased by 5.0% annually

  3. The median selling time in east central Scotland is 20.2% faster than the same three-month period a year ago – from 20 days down to 16 days. For properties across Edinburgh, the median time to sell is down to 15 days.

  4. 87% of properties listed between May and July 2017 were marketed as ‘offers over’, compared with 77.8% in 2016.

  5. Properties sold over the last three months which were marketed as ‘offers over’ achieved an average of 9.8% over the asking price, up from 7.8% last year.

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