Your Move and Acadata have reported an increase of 0.9% in house prices in Scotland in May.
The average price of a home north of the border is now £172,119, still slightly down on the level a year ago (£180,439).
The report said that Scotland is continuing to see the effects of the 3% surcharge on second homes and buy-to-let introduced in April. The estimated 11,008 transactions in March were the highest since 2007 and roughly double the number in February, as sales were brought forward to avoid the tax. Afterwards sales slumped to an estimated 6,390 in April, and are likely to remain subdued in May, although figures are not yet available.
Your Move and Acadata said that Scotland is also continuing to see the impact of last April’s new LBTT tax charge on properties priced in excess of £254,000, which saw a big spike in high value home sales in the first quarter of 2015. With far fewer similar properties sold since, average prices remain down on the same month last year, but are already 5.1% up on June 2015, and almost £5,000 up on January 2015 levels (£167,270). Transaction numbers have been relatively buoyant, with LBTT cutting the cost of purchasing cheaper homes, even if price growth trails England and Wales.
Two local authority areas also set new peaks this May: West Lothian, which built on last month’s record level to reach £167,064; and Angus whose average price of £156,009 surpassed its previous high of £155,659, set during last March’s pre- LBTT rush. The area on the mainland with the largest increase in prices in May was Glasgow City, with just under a £7,000 (5.3%) increase in the month to reach £139,194, bolstered by a £1.6 million sale. The biggest monthly fall on the mainland was see in Midlothian at -5.8%.
Christine Campbell, Your Move managing director in Scotland, said: “Next month the spike in prices from the 2015 LBTT change will fall out of annual figures. The Scottish market is starting to get back to some sense of normality, yet with Brexit, there could be some changes ahead. The next few months are going to be interesting, but thus far the sentiment is very much business as usual, with the market remaining buoyant.
“This month also sees new ONS UK-wide House Price Indices combining the Registers of Scotland (RoS), the Land Registry for England & Wales and the Land and Property Services Northern Ireland. Its calculation method (explained below) sees the average price in Scotland fall from £162,045 to £141,409. The figures in this report, however, remain consistent and comparable with our previous data.”