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House Prices Still On The UP 2006-11-18

Posted by clype in Money, Scotland, Statistics.
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The property bonanza is continuing to put the squeeze on first-time buyers, with prices surging by 8.9 per cent between 2006-07 and 2006-09 — the third quarter or ‘Q3-2006’.

The average value of a house in Scotland is now 142 355 GBP, according to ‘The Registers of Scotland‘ figures. It is a 12.5 per cent jump on the same period last year, when the average cost of a home was 126 538 GBP.

Economists warned that Q3-2006 was a traditionally busy time for house sales, adding that the market may actually be in a ‘cooling’ period.

But property experts said the boom was continuing for homeowners and that first-time buyers will continue to struggle to enter the market.

  • The average age of a first-time buyer in Scotland is 37, the oldest in the UK, despite Scotland having the most affordable housing in Britain.

The new statistics came as ministers yesterday confirmed that an extra 14 million GBP will be allocated to ‘The Homestake‘ pilot scheme to help people on low incomes to buy their own home.

The figures showed the Lothian area is the most expensive for house-hunters, with the average cost of a property 181 401 GBP– up 9.5 per cent from Q3-2205.

However, the highest year-on-year increase has been in the Grampian housing market, where there has been a 16.6 per cent rise, meaning the average price of a home is now 140 895 GBP. The total value of house sales registered during Q3-2006 is more that 5 900 million GBP — an increase of almost 900 million GBP, or 17.3 per cent, from Q3-2005.

Mr.Ross Keany of Halifax Bank of Scotland (‘HBOS’) said the 8.9 per cent increase recorded by ‘The Registers of Scotland’ was much higher than ‘HBOS’s’ own estimates. He said:

‘We’re forecasting that over the whole of 2006 Scottish house prices will rise by 10 per cent — double the UK average of 5 per cent.

‘Growth in house prices is “cooling”, but there is still a lot of concern about the impact rising prices are having on first-time buyers, especially in and around the Edinburgh area.’

He added:

‘These figures aren’t seasonally adjusted, and [Q3] is typically a very active period for house sales.

‘It does not account for the change in types of properties sold either, so if a large number of semi-detached or detached properties were sold recently, compared to more flats or terraced property sales in the second quarter, that could help explain this figure.’

The Glasgow area remains the largest market for sales, with transactions worth almost 1 750 millionGBP taking place during Q3-2006, up by 20 per cent, or almost 300 million GBP, from the same time last year 2005.

Mr.Hector Grant, customer services director at ‘Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre‘, said an annual rise of over 13 per cent meant that the average property in Edinburgh sold for 199 615 GBP inQ3-2006, he added:

‘We had anticipated that price inflation in the capital would remain at between 3 and 5 per cent over the year, so to see annual rises exceed 10 per cent in consecutive quarters is remarkable.

‘Overall it is clear that buyers’ confidence in the market in east central Scotland remains undiminished. In spite of an increase in interest rates the local property market remains robust.’

Mr.Hamish Spencer-Nairn, who leads ‘CKD Galbraith’s‘ estate agency team in Edinburgh and the Lothians said:

‘Properties we have handled at the higher end of the market are going for higher than expected.’

The Chairman of ‘The Aberdeen Solicitors Property Centre‘ Mr.John Mcrae, said the buy-to-let market and delays in planning developments were driving the property boom in the Grampian region. But he warned the high prices were putting pressure on first-time buyers trying to get a foot on the ladder.

Meanwhile, ‘The Scottish Executive‘ said the new funding for the ‘Homestake’ scheme would assist 500 first-time buyers. The new cash is in addition to the 5 million GBP originally provided when the initiative was introduced in Edinburgh and Lothians earlier this year. Using ‘Homestake’ means buyers only need to provide a 60 or 80 per cent share in a property while the rest is paid by a housing association. When the property is sold, the housing association receives a 20 or 40 per cent share of the sale price.


HOUSING OUT OF REACH:

  • Central Scotland:
    Average price Q3-2005: 115 607 GBP;
    Average 2006: 129 431 GBP;
    Increase: 12 per cent;
  • Grampian:
  • Average 2005: 120 883 GBP;
    Average 2006: 140 895 GBP;
    Increase: 16.6 per cent;
  • Highlands & Islands:
    Average 2005: 122 294 GBP;
    Average 2006: 139 168 GBP;
    Increase: 13.8 per cent;
  • Lothian:
    Average 2005: 165 613 GBP;
    Average 2006: 181 401 GBP;
    Increase: 9.5 per cent;
  • Scottish Borders:
    Average 2005: 135 290 GBP;
    Average 2006: 155 103 GBP;
    Increase: 14.6 per cent;
  • South-West Scotland:
    Average 2005: 109 935 GBP;
    Average 2006: 124 198 GBP;
    Increase: 13.0 per cent;
  • Glasgow area:
    Average 2005: 119 000 GBP;
    Average 2006: 129 793 GBP;
    Increase: 9.1 per cent.
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