Richard Sexton, Director of e.surv Chartered Surveyors, Comments On The Latest Scottish House Price Index
The July 2012 Scottish House Price Index from LSL Property Services/Academetrics has been released today, providing a measure of the average house price in Scotland for July 2012.
- Scottish house sales rise 21% in July as life becomes easier for first time buyers
- First time buyer sales up 9% so far this year – bucking the UK trend
- Prices in Midlothian rise £17,000 in the last 12 months
- Prices in Edinburgh up £14,000 since July 2011
Richard Sexton, Director of e.surv chartered surveyors which is a part of LSL, comments as follows in the latest Scottish House Price Index from LSL Property Services/Academetrics published 19th September 2012.
“Life for first time buyers in Scotland has improved markedly this year. There have been 1,100 more loans to new buyers so far this year than in the equivalent period last year. This has helped push up activity throughout the whole market, with July seeing 1,529 more sales than June.
“While it isn’t all sunshine and roses just yet, first-timers in Scotland can at least take solace from the fact life is comparably better for them than their English and Welsh counterparts. It’s been easier for Scottish buyers to access mortgages this year, and, given we’re in the middle of a double-dip recession, it augurs well for the future. New buyers in England and Wales have to stump up £22,000 more on average than Scottish buyers to get a loan, which is a major reason why the Scottish first-timer market is moving more freely.
“Although first-timer numbers are still only at 46% of what they were before the 2008 financial crisis, increased activity from new buyers has helped keep house prices broadly flat. Some may believe that prices have fallen about as low as they can and that the only way they can head now is up. The improvements in sales we’ve seen this year are admittedly only tentative steps on a long road to recovery. But if sales can continue on their upward trajectory over the coming months, prices will rise as demand begins to outstrip supply. The MI New Home initiative is also a welcome boon to the new build sector, allowing some borrowers to access to up to 95% LTV loans.
“Prices are more volatile erratic on a regional basis. Areas like Midlothian, which have wealthier buyers, have seen prices rise considerably over the past 12 months. Buyers in these areas have more equity, so find it easier to access mortgage finance. The opposite is true for less affluent areas with high unemployment. Activity has fallen in these regions, which has pulled down prices.”