Data from the Registers of Scotland shows a marked increase in transaction levels – up 23 per cent in one year, as the market settles down following the introduction of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax as a replacement for stamp duty.
The average price of residential property is also up, but only by 1.5 per cent, although the total value of all property sold - seen by many agents as the best barometer of housing market performance - was up by a fully 24 per cent.
Analysis of the RoS data by agency Rettie & Co shows that there has been an annual a drop in activity in only three out of the 32 Scottish local authorities, with the largest increase in the value of properties sold being recorded in the Shetland Islands - up 42 per cent.
“These latest statistics show that the housing market in Scotland is turning the corner. The sharp rise in activity is more than a blip as the fundamentals are now in place to ensure a full recovery, with improving economic activity levels, consumer sentiment, bank lending and new build activity helping to raise the market” explains Rettie & Co’s director of research, Dr.John Boyle.
“First time buyers are now returning to the market in larger numbers, which is a major factor behind getting the market moving at all levels.The government’s stimulus of Help to Buy should see the figures improving again over next year and beyond” he says.
“This is also evidenced by our own figures – for example, our agreed sales in Edinburgh are up 50% on the year to date. Stable price levels are helping the market to recover.”