The first quarter of 2018 is in the books and, in the local property market at least, the strong sellers market that we saw throughout 2017 has continued.
In other areas of the UK the picture is more mixed. Here, we take our usual monthly look at the latest, major house price reports from across the country.
ESPC House Price Report - March 2018 Average House Price (Edinburgh): £250,875, up 7.2% annually
ESPC’s latest house price report revealed that the average selling price of a property in Edinburgh topped £250,000 during the first quarter of the year following an annual increase of 7.2%.
Despite the large rise in selling prices ESPC did note that there was a decrease in market activity, in large part due to the severe, adverse weather conditions earlier in the year. The number of properties brought to the market during the first quarter was reported to be 10.1% lower than was the case a year ago.
Registers of Scotland – January 2018 Average House Price (Scotland): £148,512, up 7.3% annually Average House Price (Edinburgh): £251,522, up 11.1% annually
The Registers of Scotland’s house price report typically trails other reports by a month or two. Nonetheless, because the Registers record every property sale north of the border their report gives a good insight into what is happening in the market.
Their latest report, which covers property sales in January 2018, showed that the average house price across Scotland stood at just under £150,000 after an annual rise of 7.3%. In Edinburgh itself both the average house price (£251,522) and the rate at house prices were rising (11.2%) were found to be substantially higher than the Scottish average.
Halifax House Price Index - March 2018 Average House Price (UK): £227,871, up 2.7% annually
The latest Halifax House Price Index showed that the growth in house prices across the UK was notably slower than that which we are seeing in Scotland. The average UK house price was found to be £227,871 during March – 2.7% higher than during the same month in 2017.
The Halifax report noted that market activity had dipped but that they expected house price growth at the UK level to remain broadly in line with current levels, stating: “Activity levels, like house price growth, have softened compared with a year ago. Mortgage approvals are down compared to 12 months ago, whilst home sales have remained flat in the early months of the year.
“In the coming months we expect price growth to remain close to our prediction of 3% despite the very positive factors of continuing low mortgage rates, great affordability levels and a robust labour market.”
Nationwide House Price Index - March 2018 Average House Price (UK): £211,625, up 2.1% annually
As is often the case, the latest figures from Nationwide were in line with those seen in the Halifax report. The UK average house price has increased but at a much slower rate than what we are seeing in Edinburgh and many other areas of Scotland.
They are a little more conservative than Halifax in their projections for house price growth this year though, commenting: “On the surface, the relatively subdued pace of house price growth appears at odds with recent healthy rates of employment growth, a modest pick-up in wage growth and historically low borrowing costs. However, consumer confidence has remained subdued, due to the ongoing squeeze on household finances as wage growth continues to lag behind increases in the cost of living.
Overall, we expect house prices to be broadly flat, with a marginal gain of around 1% over the course of 2018.”
Rounding up the Results During the last month, there has not been much change in the market either locally or at the UK-wide level. In many areas of Scotland house prices are rising sharply and that is especially true in Edinburgh, with a shortage of homes available for sale helping to drive prices upwards.
The levels of growth that we are seeing locally would not be sustainable over the longer term however and there are clear signs that the market in other areas, and in particular in London and the south-east, has slowed down. The likelihood is that this cooling in the market that we are seeing in other areas of the country will have a knock-on effect locally in due course.
That said, there has been a huge excess of demand over supply for property in Edinburgh for over a year now. Even when demand cools the market will still be a favourable one for sellers and we anticipate that house price inlfation in and around Edinburgh will stand at 2-3% by the end of 2018.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a property, get in touch with Warners today on 0131 667 0232 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and our expert team will be delighted to help.