Property sales increase

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The number of homes changing hands in Scotland has increased by 5% compared to the same period a year ago. From January to March 2013, 14,567 residential properties were sold, according to the latest official statistics from the Registers of Scotland.

While the number of sales rose, the fourth quarter of 2012-13 saw a dip in average values across Scotland, with homes costing on average 0.4% less than the previous year. Residential properties had an average price tag of £148,174 in the first three months of 2013.

Registers of Scotland published its Quarterly House Price Statistical Report earlier, with figures covering all residential sales including those that did not involve a mortgage.

Three local authority areas in Scotland had average values of above £200,000: Edinburgh City, East Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire, which had the costliest average price in Scotland at £212,129. Midlothian saw the largest year on year rise in prices, with homes there selling for 9% more than the same period in 2012.

Glasgow had the largest number of properties sold in the first three months of the year, with 1666. Volumes also increased in Edinburgh where 1639 properties changed hands, and where the total sales topped £335m making it the largest market in Scotland.

Registers of Scotland’s director of commercial services Kenny Crawford said: “It is encouraging to see a rise in volumes and while the average price has fallen, it is not a substantial drop.

“We are seeing some interesting figures from areas like Midlothian, where the volumes and average price have both increased. There’ve been a number of new developments in areas like Dalkeith and Gorebridge, which are likely to be contributing to this upward trend. Work has also recently begun on the new Borders Railway Project, which may also be having an impact on the local housing market.

“East Ayrshire has shown the largest percentage fall in terms of number of properties sold: 9.4% fewer homes changed hands compared to the same period last year. Prices there also dropped, as they did in Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire. As ever, the picture is variable from one local authority area to the next, as reflected in our detailed statistics.”