May 2015 - Scotland House Price Index

House prices resilient in face of tax disruption

  • Scottish house prices up 10.3% since May 2014 – twice the annual growth seen in England & Wales
  • But 2.1% monthly correction in wake of new LBTT in May, with only one £1m+ home sold in two months
  • Home sales down 10% month-on-month in May, following the pre-LBTT spike of top-end transactions
  • Glasgow house prices finally surpass 2007 levels, reaching new record of £146,286 after high demand

Christine Campbell, Your Move managing director in Scotland, comments: “Two months into Scotland’s new transaction tax regime, and the impact of the overhaul is still reverberating around the property market. Meanwhile a sweeping political transformation in May – both in Scotland and the rest of the UK – was a fresh source of uncertainty for those considering the best time to move home. These winds of change have buffeted buyers and sellers, and it’s harder to make out the underlying course of the market as a result.

“Yet the trends that can be gleaned are positive. Scottish house prices are up by more than ten per cent on an annual basis, and the sentiment from buyers in our branches is upbeat as the stability of the housing recovery shines though.

There is no denying that the recent tax turbulence has affected property prices in the shorter-term, with the latest monthly dip testament to further shock-waves of the LBTT, as the market continues to absorb the change. May’s monthly fall of 2.1% (equal to £4,000) is the largest backwards step we’ve experienced for nearly six years. However, this must be considered in the context of following an exceptional leap in March, when prices soared a record-breaking £16,000 as a result of frenetic movement at the top-end of the housing market, with 84 properties worth £1 million or more changing hands before the stamp duty switchover. But since the new regime was enforced, there’s been only one million-pound home sold in Scotland in the past two months, which is reining back current measures of growth. During May, it was the most expensive parts of Scotland that saw average property prices slip backwards, in the absence of some higher-value sales – for instance, house prices in Edinburgh have dropped 5.7% since April, while East Lothian saw an 11.2% monthly drop in May.

Read the full report here.

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