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Reports Give Insight into Housing Market Activity

A new report from Registers of Scotland (RoS) has revealed that the total value of the residential sales market in Scotland from 2007-08 to 2016-17 reached over £143.4 billion.

The data is contained in the fifth annual edition of RoS’ 10-year property market report, which looks at trends in the land and property market over the last ten years, from the pre-financial crisis period in 2007-08, through the subsequent economic downturn, to the latest trends in sales volumes and prices up to 2016-17.

Property Market Important for the Economy

“The Scottish property market is a significant component of the Scottish economy,” explained RoS business development and information director Kenny Crawford. “In 2016-17, the total value of residential sales alone was £16.7 billion, an increase of 1.0% when compared with 2015-16.”

“We’ve also seen an increase in average house prices over the decade, up 7.7% when comparing 2016-17 with 2007-08,” he said. “Overall, house prices remained relatively stable across each year of the decade, with the exception of a more pronounced year on year increase between 2013-14 and 2014-15.”

“While the 100,291 residential sales in 2016-17 remains down on the 149,145 sales recorded in the pre-financial crisis period in 2007-08, volumes in 2016-17 were the highest since 2007-08 and have been increasing year on year from the 10-year low of 70,510 in 2011-12,” he added.

Report Findings

Other key findings of the report include:

  • new-build property sales accounted for 12% of the all-Scotland sales in 2016-17, with a total of 12,014 sales,
  • there was a 36.2% decrease in the number of residential properties sold for over a million pounds when comparing 2007-08 with 2016-17, although this should be seen in the context of a drop of 32.8% in total sales volumes between these years,
  • a drop of 30.3% in the number of sales being registered with a mortgage when comparing 2007-08 with 2016-17,
  • the proportion of residential sales being registered with a mortgage falling from 84.5% in 2007-08 to 69.0% in 2016-17,
  • a market value of £4.1 billion for non-residential sales (includes commercial, land, agriculture and forestry sales) in 2016-17, and
  • a 5.3% increase in the volume of commercial leases, from 905 in 2015-16 to 953 in 2016-17.

Latest Data from Halifax

The RoS report gives an interesting insight into property market trends over the past ten years. However, a breakdown of the most recent housing market activity can be found in the latest House Price Index from Halifax.

The Index shows that UK house prices in the last three months (March-May) were 0.2% lower than in the previous three months (December-February).

In addition, there was a 3% fall in property sales between March and April, to 99,910. This followed three successive months when sales were above 100,000. However, sales in the three months to April were 2% higher than in the preceding three months.

According to Halifax, supply continues to be an issue for the housing market. The number of properties coming on to the market fell for the 14th consecutive month in April, which kept the average stock levels on estate agents’ books close to an historic low.

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