House prices continued to rise in Scotland in the fourth quarter of last year taking them to their highest level since current records began in 2003.
The data from the Registers of Scotland shows that the average house price in Scotland was £165,197, an increase 3.4% on the same period in 2013.
The figures also show that the total value of sales across Scotland was up by 3.1% compared to the previous year to just under £4.2 billion.
Moray showed the highest percentage rise, with the value of sales increasing by 21.7% year on year. Edinburgh remained the largest market with sales of just over £656 million, an increase of 2.8%.
North Ayrshire recorded the highest percentage rise in average price compared with the same quarter of the previous year, up 17.1% to £124,260. Aberdeenshire had the highest average at £232,331, a rise of 5% while the largest percentage fall in price was in Falkirk, which showed a drop of 4.3% with an average price of £123,180.
However, the total volume of sales across Scotland fell by 0.3%, the first decrease in sales volumes since 2012.
Argyll and Bute showed the largest percentage rise in the number of sales with an increase of 18.2% and Edinburgh again recorded the highest sales volume but this was down 1.5% on the previous year. The largest percentage decrease was in Stirling, which showed a drop of 14.2%.
All property types, with the exception of detached properties, showed an increase in average house price in this quarter, the biggest being in semi-detached properties at 5.5%. With the exception of flats, all property types experienced a decrease in sales volumes, with detached properties recording the biggest decrease of 4.2% compared to the previous year.
Property consultancy, CKD Galbraith, said it saw a steady growth in sales throughout 2014 which is continuing into 2015. There was also a 23% increase in the number of viewings against 2013’s figures for the same period.
‘Prices achieved for all properties sold by the firm during 2014 were on average 1.54% over the asking price. The past three months have proved to be busy and productive with buyers hesitancy around the referendum period translating into a surge of activity and successful transactions during the final quarter of the year,’ said Simon Brown, partner and head of residential sales at CKD Galbraith.
‘The momentum has continued throughout January and we expect there to be more movement at the higher end of the market before the stamp duty changes occur in April. Although the general election is likely to cause a slight slowdown in activity, we can say that 2015 looks set to be a promising year for the property sector,’ he added.
Scotland’s property market can continue to take confidence from these latest results, according to Peter Grant, chief executive officer of Grant Property. ‘It’s notable that total volume of sales continues to be up and this is reflected by our own business activity,’ he said.
‘From a buying perspective, all of the cities in which we operate, including Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Stirling and Glasgow continue to be extremely competitive with closing dates and offers over being the norm,’ he explained.
He also added that prime rental locations in Edinburgh and Aberdeen are the most in demand and it’s not unusual for over 20 parties to be putting in an offer. In Aberdeen, the majority of properties are going to closing and achieving at least home report value.
From a rental perspective, the firm is seeing increases of between 5% and 15% across all cities. In Aberdeen pre-let properties are achieving at least 10% higher rent in 2015 than last year and the firm said there is also stable growth across both Stirling and Glasgow.