Scottish Property Market Improving
Published by HIFX News - Chris Barber
Investors considering making a money transfer north of the border in order to purchase a Scottish home may be reassured by the suggestion that the market is improving, following a new report which found sales rising by almost nine per cent.
The Registers of Scotland (RoS) data found sales in the first quarter of 2012 jumped by 8.6 per cent on a year-on-year basis, with prices also rising by 1.6 per cent.
This could indicate a revival in a market which endured a fairly torrid time over the course of 2011, according to an expert.
Dr John Boyle, head of research at Rettie & Co, told the Herald the jump in sales is encouraging news for the property market and could indicate the "whiff" of a slight recovery for residential Scottish property.
"Although the latest release of the official Scottish housing market statistics appears mixed, we believe that, overall, this is actually a good set of results for the market," said Dr Boyle.
However, the researcher tempered this optimistic view by warning that the RoS results are not seasonally adjusted, meaning potential investors should be cautious when using them to assess the progress made in house sales and values over the course of the year.
"It is the indicators of annual change that are most reliable and these show a small rise in house prices, but an encouraging larger rise in the number of sales," suggested Dr Boyle.
Sales figures increased most markedly in East Dumbartonshire, where 28.8 per cent more properties were purchased year-on-year.
East Renfrewshire is the most expensive area to buy a house, while the Western Isles is the cheapest.
The National Association of Estate Agents has urged first minister Alex Salmond to make use of his newfound fiscal independence to change stamp duty, reducing the tax burden for Scottish homeowners.