November 2015 - Scotland House Price Index

Scottish house price growth outpaces England and Wales

  • Home values in Scotland jump 0.8% in November, twice the rate seen south of the border
  • Average Scottish property prices increased £45 a day during the month, advancing to £169,850
  • East Renfrewshire has biggest upswing, as new home developments lift prices 5.2% since October
  • Strongest November for home sales since 2007, defying seasonal slump with 13% year-on-year rise

Christine Campbell, Your Move managing director in Scotland, comments: “The Scottish housing market has been making up for a bit of lost ground, and in the short-term is galloping ahead of the rest of Great Britain. During November, Scotland’s 0.8% increase in property prices represents twice the pace seen in England and Wales over the same month (0.4%). This uplift provides a welcome bounce back for homeowners after a turbulent year, with house prices still below March’s record peak. The driving force behind this up and down has been the introduction of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), lowering tax for the vast majority of buyers, but hitting the top end of the market. As high-end housing stock starts to shift again, we are seeing price rises strengthen in more expensive areas – with values in East Renfrewshire up 5.2% (£11,658) since October, the fastest monthly jump on the mainland.

“However, this month’s growth spurt may be short-lived. Now with John Swinney’s 3% surcharge on second home and buy-to-let property purchases coming into force in April, price rises could find themselves hindered. If the impact of this tax increase mirrors the effect of the LBTT, we may see a sharp spike in values at the start of 2016, as buy-to-let buyers rush to avoid the tax hike, followed by a sudden dip after its introduction. Investors may well be dissuaded from purchasing additional properties then, with a £250,000 home liable for an extra £7,500 in Stamp Duty once the tax is implemented. Sellers may find themselves having to subsequently reduce prices to make their properties more attractive, accounting for the higher surcharge for some buyers. There have been cases of some developers offering £10,000 contributions towards the LBTT in order to sell their units.