ESPC records falling property prices after pre-LBTT sales rush

Maria Botha-Lopez

Average property prices in east central Scotland saw a year-on-year fall of a half percentage between April-June 2015, according to new figures from ESPC.

It is the first recorded decrease in the average selling price since December 2012.

ESPC analysts said the introduction of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) saw a surge in higher-priced properties being brought to market at the start of the year, with fewer properties over £300,000 now being sold.

This has resulted in lower average prices, even though figures show property prices in east central Scotland for the first six months of 2015 were 9 per cent up on the first six months of 2014.

The number of homes being sold has also increased by 6.9 per cent compared with the same period last year, despite fewer homes - a decrease of 5.6 per cent - being brought to market in the same period.

Maria Botha-Lopez, business analyst for ESPC, said: “We’re continuing to see the impact of the introduction of LBTT on the regional property market as average property prices have fallen in the period of April to June 2015, after LBTT was implemented on 1st April.

“A surge in average property prices in the first quarter was driven by larger volumes of high-end property sales, and now we are seeing a decrease in average property price driven by smaller volumes of high-end property sales in the second quarter.

“By comparing the first six months of this year against the same period last year we see a 9 per cent growth in average property prices, which looks like we have a better chance of balancing out the waxing and waning of the LBTT effect on property prices. It will be interesting to see whether this effect will taper out in the coming months.”

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