Registers of Scotland release their latest quarterly report

by SPC Scotland

08 January 2016

Registers of Scotland have released their latest quarterly report, covering the period from April to June 2016, and have revealed that the volume of sales across Scotland has increased, while the average property prices have decreased, when compared with the same period last year.

Flats have shown the biggest increase in sales volumes, up 11.2 per cent year on year, and this could be attributed to the changes in land and building transaction tax. At ESPC we saw a large increase in the number of one and two bedroom flats being sold in areas like Leith, Dunfermline and Musselburgh as people snapped up these properties before the 3% supplementary tax came into place. While the average property price of transactions recorded through ROS has come down, across east central Scotland we are seeing steady increases; the average selling price of a two bedroom flat has increased by 5.0%, and the average selling price of a three bedroom house has increased by 7.6%.

ROS also reported that the sale of detached properties has slowed this quarter. This is indicative of the sale in top-end properties stalling due to an increase in tax payable on properties valued at over £333,000 when LBTT replaced Stamp Duty in April 2015. We are also now comparing volumes and periods with the same period last year when people rushed to buy homes at the top-end of the market, to avoid paying the tax.

Across Scotland, Solicitors Property Centre's (SPC's) are reporting a good turnover, with Highland Solicitors Property Centre (HSPC) seeing an increase in the number of properties sold and Sarah Woodcock, manager at HSPC, commenting: "We are pleased to see increased activity in recent months and in particular a healthy increase in sales, and with properties being marketed also starting to climb."

Glasgow Solicitors Property Centre (GSPC) has reported that house prices in the west of Scotland have risen by 3.1%. The pattern of decreasing selling times also continues and is now down by 28% compared to the same quarter of 2015 in the area. It now takes on average 55 days to sell, the lowest figure for eight years.

Lynne Hill, manager of TSPC in Dundee said: "Our member firms are reporting many properties going under offer very quickly and we have been witnessing the return of closing dates. It is an indication of strong demand when buyers are jostling to secure a particular property."

Anne Begg, manager of PSPC said: "There are improvements in some areas and slight dips in others. More and more properties are achieving their asking price with pricing being more consistent and reliable and you are more likely now to achieve your Home Report value than has been the case in recent years. We have sold a record number of properties - the most over the past five years."

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