March 2015 - Scotland House Price Index

Scottish house prices rise twice as fast as in England & Wales

  • House prices in Scotland rise 11.2% in the last twelve months – twice that seen in England & Wales (5.7%)
  • In a single month, average property prices in Scotland rise £9,200 ahead of enforcement of new tax
  • Number of transactions completed in March up 29% on February, mainly at the top end of the market
  • 36 homes worth £1 million or more change hands in March, the highest number ever in a single month
  • Edinburgh and suburbs see especially strong local surges, with East Lothian prices up 11.8% in one month

Christine Campbell, regional managing director of Your Move, comments: “In what would have been an unimaginable trend just a year ago, house prices are now rising faster in Scotland than in London. 

“In part this is due to a short-term scramble to avoid the new Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, or the LBTT, put in force by the Scottish government as of 1st April. For the top of the market especially, a pre-deadline rush has boosted the average price paid in March, so the latest surge in prices is unlikely to be sustained to quite the same extent in April under the new regime.

“Yet even before the one-off effect of looming tax changes, Scottish house prices were rising on an annual basis by 6% in February, already on a par with 6.8% south of the border. As prices cool across the rest of Britain, Scotland has seen the opposite trend, with prices accelerating upwards.

“Once the new tax regime has become an established feature of the property market, the effects could be different again. On the face of things, there are clear benefits for those buying a home for less than £254,000 as they will have to pay less tax than under the old system. But it remains to be seen if this will be quickly countered by higher prices for these properties, as buyers with a little more buying capacity just bid up the average price for these homes. On the other hand, by far the clearest effect is already for the top of the market – there were a record number of million pound transactions in March as wealthy buyers rush to save thousands before the onset of the new law. So while the majority of Scotland’s property market is likely to maintain its acceleration as we approach the summer, the next set of figures will almost certainly be held back artificially by a relatively sluggish top-end.

Read the full report here.