Scotland has enjoyed a boom in its property market since the beginning of lockdown in March, according to UK-wide letting firm Apropos by DJ Alexander.
Average house prices in Scotland have risen by 6.8% between March and September (the latest month of official data), from £151,285 to £161,510.
England had the next highest increase at 4.9%, followed by Wales (1.9%) and Northern Ireland (1.6%).
David Alexander, the joint chief executive officer of Apropos, comments: “There is little doubt that the lockdown built up considerable demand in the property market while also providing an opportunity for people to reflect on what they wanted from their home.”
“Everyone was spending so much time in their properties that it made them appreciate what they enjoyed and what they disliked about where they lived.”
He says the demands of working from home, coupled with a growing need for open spaces, has led to many individuals seeking to change their home as quickly as possible. This has caused an increase in demand over a relatively short period and is only set to continue.
“Although the increase in the threshold for land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) will have played some part in these increases, prices were rising before this was introduced in July and given the time delay in sales coming through is likely to have only benefitted sales from the late summer onwards.”
According to Alexander, the prices reflect the greater importance people place on their homes. Supply is as high as demand with a marked increase in the number of properties available for sale over the last six months.
In Edinburgh, for example, the number of properties for sale in November is 49% higher than the same month in 2019.
“I would expect these increases to continue into the New Year as people try to buy properties before the LBTT threshold reverts to its original level,” Alexander adds.
“I believe that to avoid a sudden drop in sales it would be prudent for the Holyrood and Westminster governments to restore the stamp duty charges gradually to maintain sales into the spring and summer and avert a sudden drop in market activity.”