House price fall may help first time buyers - PropertyBlawg

House price fall may help first time buyers

by PropertyBlawg on December 12, 2012

Guest post from NGL Solicitors, specialist conveyancing solicitors in Glasgow and Hamilton in Scotland

The most recent figures from Registers of Scotland reveal a 2.3% drop in the average price of a house in Scotland, leading to hopes that the drop may help first time buyers.

The statistics, which cover the second quarter of 2012, also reveal a 2.1% dip in the number of houses sold compared to the same period last year.

Registers of Scotland

Registers of Scotland (ROS) is the government department responsible for registering a variety of legal documents in Scotland, including documents dealing with the ownership of, and rights over, land and property.

It produces regular house price statistics covering all housing related transactions across the whole of Scotland.

Latest house price figures

According to the ROS, the average price of a residential property in Scotland for the last quarter was £159,310.

The highest percentage rise was recorded in East Dunbartonshire, where the average price was £224,156 – a rise of 8% compared with the same quarter the previous year. The City of Edinburgh recorded the highest average price of £228,719, an increase of 1.4% compared with the same quarter in 2011/12.

The largest percentage fall in price was in Argyll and Bute, which showed a drop of 12.7% and an average price of £143,590.

Prices according to property types

All property types showed a decrease in average house price in this quarter, says ROS. The biggest decrease was in detached properties (4.5%) and the smallest decrease in semi-detached properties (1.6%).

Terraced properties showed an increase in sales volumes of 0.9%, while semi-detached volumes remained static and detached and flatted properties decreased by 3.6% and 4% respectively.

Number of properties sold

There was also a drop in the number of registered house sales (19,868) in Scotland during the second quarter of 2012/13. This was down 2.1% on the same quarter the previous year.

The Scottish Borders showed the largest percentage fall in the number of sales with a decrease of 21.2%, says ROS, while Moray showed the largest percentage rise with an increase of 22.5% in total sales compared to the same period in the previous year.

Glasgow City recorded the highest sales volume with 2,198 residential house sales, down 2% on the previous year.

Thoughts from ROS

According to Kenny Crawford, Registers of Scotland’s Director of Commercial Services, the national picture for July-September 2012 shows the lowest volume of sales in this quarter since records began in 2003. It is less than half of the number of properties sold in Scotland when the market was at its peak in 2007/08.

“For first time buyers, the 2.3% drop in average values may be welcome news,” he said, while warning that “As ever, taking that first step onto the property ladder is easier to achieve in some areas than others.”

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