The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

North-east hous­ing mar­ket ‘weath­ered worst’ of down­turn

Prop­erty: Wel­come for in­crease in homes chang­ing hands

- BY KIRSTEN ROBERT­SON Real Estate · Business · Scotland · Glasgow · Outer Hebrides · United Kingdom · European Union · Aberdeenshire · Renfrewshire

Prop­erty ex­perts say the north-east has “weath­ered the worst” of the hous­ing mar­ket down­turn.

The value of Scot­land’s prop­erty mar­ket is on course to top £18 bil­lion for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, de­spite “in­creas­ing anx­i­ety” over Brexit.

New hous­ing fig­ures from Aberdein Con­si­dine re­veal sales in Scot­land hit £5.3bn dur­ing the last quar­ter up by £100 mil­lion on the same time last year.

More than 28,000 homes changed hands dur­ing the quar­ter, ac­cord­ing to the firm’s Prop­erty Mon­i­tor re­port, bring­ing the to­tal value of sales in 2019 to £13.3bn.

Sales in Aberdeen­shire were up 4.1%, and the over­all value of prop­erty sold in Aberdeen and the Shire hit al­most £1.2bn for the year, up £24m on last year, with 2,288 prop­er­ties chang­ing hands.

The av­er­age cost of a home in Aberdeen­shire was found to re­main flat at £215,840, but the value of prop­erty chang­ing hands saw an up­lift of 4.4% to £255m.

De­spite a 3.3% fall in av­er­age prices in Aberdeen, now at £193,141, the city was a new-build hotspot.

The av­er­age cost of a new-build home in Aberdeen was £299,663, with only the Glas­gow sub­urbs of East Ren­frew­shire and East Dun­bar­ton­shire ex­ceed­ing that fig­ure.

Bob Fraser, se­nior prop­erty part­ner at Aberdein Con­si­dine,

“The mar­ket in the north-east is con­tin­u­ing its re­cov­ery”

said: “The mar­ket in the north-east is con­tin­u­ing its re­cov­ery and it’s ex­tremely wel­come to see an in­crease in the num­ber of homes chang­ing hands.

“It def­i­nitely feels like we have weath­ered the worst of the hous­ing mar­ket down­turn.”

Twenty lo­cal au­thor­ity ar­eas saw the value of homes sold rise, with the Western Isles reg­is­ter­ing the big­gest in­crease, at 24%.

Over­all, prices for the whole High­lands and is­lands area were up 2.5% year-on-year to £161,475, though to­tal home sales were down frac­tion­ally.

The firm’s fig­ures come against a back­drop of “in­creas­ing anx­i­ety” over the im­pact the UK’s exit from the EU will have on the value of homes.

A ma­jor poll of home­own­ers car­ried out by Aberdein Con­si­dine sug­gests 50% of Scots fear their prop­erty will de­crease in value after the split.

Jacqueline Law, man­ag­ing part­ner at Aberdein Con­si­dine, said: “There has, over the third quar­ter of the year, been a sharp in­crease in the num­ber of Scots who fear that Brexit will re­sult in the value of their home de­creas­ing.

“There is clearly home­owner anx­i­ety around Brexit, but this has yet to be re­flected in sales fig­ures, per­haps due to the greater public hav­ing lit­tle idea what Brexit will ac­tu­ally look­like.”

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