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House prices in East and Central Scotland have fallen over the past three months according to the latest house price report from ESPC, and they don’t expect things to change.
On average, Edinburgh has seen a drop of 1.1% in the course of the year, but the properties in the city centre increased in value by 3.4%. Other areas saw big drops; one bedroom flats in Gorgie and Dalry for example dropped by 11% in value.
West Lothian saw the biggest loss though, with house prices being reduced by nearly a quarter (24%) compared to the same period last year, dropping from £157,451 to £119,694.
David Marshall, ESPC’s business analyst offered the possible reason for the sharp downturn: “Sales volumes are still well below what you would have seen prior to the credit crunch and this makes regional averages much more susceptible to a change in the types of properties selling. For example in this case one and two bedroom properties made up almost 40% of all sales in West Lothian during the last three months. A year ago this figure stood at just 25%. This increase in the number of smaller homes selling naturally pulls the regional average downward. In the months ahead we’d expect to see the average house price return to around £150,000 as the mix of properties selling returns to more regular levels.”
ESPC believe the year ahead will see very little movement in house prices as smaller houses continue to be more difficult to sell. They also think sellers will be more inclined to accept lower offers due to their need to sell.
“The likelihood is that 2012 will see a continuation of recent trends. Sellers of smaller properties will still find the market more challenging. The falls we’ve seen in prices since 2007 will offer some first-time buyers who had previously been priced out of the market an affordable way onto the property ladder.
“Most homes are selling for a little below Home Report valuation, so those wishing to secure a quick sale will probably have to show a willingness to accept a slightly lower offer but when they come to buy their next property they should be able to use market conditions to their advantage to secure their next home for less than they may have expected.”
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