The Scotsman

Property prices at record high post-pan­demic

- By JANE BRADLEY Business · Infectious Diseases · Health Conditions · United Kingdom · Halifax Regional Municipality · F.C. Halifax Town · Outer Hebrides · Highlands and Islands

Property prices are rock­et­ing UK-wide in the post-lock­down pe­riod to a record high-how­ever ex­perts have warned that the in­creases could be short-lived, as the fi­nan­cial ef­fects of the pan­demic take hold.

UK av­er­age property prices rose by 1.6 per cent on a monthly ba­sis, ac­cord­ing to the fig­ures from Hal­i­fax, tak­ing an­nual growth to 5.2 per cent - its strong­est level since late 2016, with the av­er­age price of a property tip­ping over £245,000 for the first time on record.

The re­port is pub­lished as com­mu­ni­ties in the High­lands and is­lands warned that they are be­ing priced out of their lo­cal area amid grow­ing de­mand for ru­ral homes in the wake of the pan­demic.

In an open let­ter from a group in­clud­ing crofters, devel­op­ment of­fi­cers and Gaelic cam­paign­ers, is­landers warned of an “eco­nomic clear­ance” in the ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

They said that 40 per cent of hous­ing stock on both Tiree in the In­ner He­brides and West Har­ris in the Western Isles were hol­i­day homes and that, com­bined with a rise in the num­ber of peo­ple across the UK look­ing to re­lo­cate to the High­lands and Is­lands, was push­ing prices higher.

Russell Gal­ley, manag­ing di­rec­tor of Hal­i­fax, said: “A surge in mar­ket ac­tiv­ity has driven up house prices through the post-lock­downs u mm er pe­riod, fuel led by the re­lease of pent-up de­mand, a strong de­sire amongst some buy­ers to move to big­ger proper ties, and of course the tem­po­rary cut to stamp duty.”

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