Average house price falls in Scotland

For sale Image copyright PA
Image caption Almost 20,000 properties were sold in Scotland between January and March

Scottish house prices have dropped by nearly a tenth and sales have reached their highest volume in almost a decade, official figures have shown.

The average house price has fallen by 8.4% to £159,198, according to new Registers of Scotland (RoS) statistics.

There were 19,802 properties sold between January and March, the highest volume of sales in these months since 2007-08.

The total value was about £3.15bn, an increase of 8.3% on the previous year.

But as volumes were higher, the average price has dropped.

The drop in price could be down to the higher number of lower-value properties sold in the first three months of 2016, RoS said.

Kenny Crawford, director of commercial services at RoS, said: "We've seen a sustained increase in the volume of sales throughout the 2015-16 financial year.

"While volumes are up this quarter, prices are down by 8.4% compared to the previous year, bringing the average price to £159,198."

Price plummet

Mr Crawford said this was in contrast to this time last year, when there was a spike in house prices with an increase in the number of high-value property sales.

Midlothian saw the biggest increase in sales on the mainland, up 48% to 333, while East Renfrewshire saw the biggest drop - falling 14.5% to 288. Sales on Orkney more than doubled from 44 to 108.

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire were the only other regions to see a drop in sales, down by almost a tenth in both areas, and prices have plummeted.

The average price of a detached home in Aberdeen has fallen by a fifth to £356,534, with similar falls in all property types in the city.

Detached property prices in Glasgow (-21.3%) and Inverclyde (-27.4%) have fallen even further, although terrace and flat prices are stable in Glasgow and considerably higher in Inverclyde.

Bidding wars

Edinburgh was the largest market, with sales of more than £554.6m for the quarter - up 3.3% - but the capital saw one of the biggest drops in median house prices, falling 14.6% to £175,000.

All property types showed an increase in sales volumes across Scotland, with flats seeing the biggest increase at 24.2%.

Michelle Grant, investment director at Grant Property, said the firm's buyers were experiencing "high levels of competition" when bidding for city centre properties.

"In Glasgow we are bidding against on average eight people for each property and in Edinburgh it can be as high as 20.

"We have also recently seen properties selling for as much as 15% over the asking price in Glasgow and as much as 30% in Edinburgh."

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