June Property Market Update 2023

Property Market Highlights

  • House prices across key local markets rose by 0.4% Between March – May 2023, taking the national average property price to £274,162
  • New property listings saw a slight drop annually but keen buyers persist
  • Median time properties spend on the market year-on-year slowly increasing with a current average of 24 days
  • Vast majority (78%) of properties continue to sell for their Home Report Valuation or higher at sale

House Prices Across Key Local Markets Rose by 0.4% Between March – May 2023, Taking the National Average Property Price to £274,162.

In May, we saw a shift in the Scottish housing market as house prices experienced a slight decline, following the broader trend seen across the UK.

This month, we’re seeing a change in direction, with a marginal increase in property prices across the nation’s key areas. Between March – May 2023, house prices in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders enjoyed an increase of 0.4%, taking average Scottish house prices to £274,162, according to the latest data provided by ESPC

What’s more, a recent piece by The Herald reports that house prices across the UK “experienced their first annual decline since December 2012” in May, falling by 1% on average. Scotland, however, managed to buck this trend, with properties enjoying an increase of 1.3% – highlighting the continued attractiveness of the Scottish market. 

Despite this good news, there’s no doubt that the housing market is continuing to calm and return to pre-COVID levels of activity (more on this later). In the same period of 2019 (March-May), the average property selling price sat at £246,065 –  showing that the high demand and low stock issues faced during the pandemic pushed property prices up significantly, but recent figures suggest these steep price increases may be on the verge of plateauing. 

Zooming in on local markets now, we see that West Fife and Kinross saw the highest average house price increase over the last three months (March-May), with a 12.1% annual growth, reaching £214,902. Next up was Midlothian, which enjoyed a boost of 10.4% to £260,151.

Coming in last and with a slight price decrease, properties in the City of Edinburgh fell by 1.8% annually, hitting an average of £289,213.

Promising Opportunities for Sellers as Keen Buyers Persist in the Property Market

The last three months have seen a dip in new property listings, suggesting that sellers are more cautious than they have been in previous years. Likely due to the tumultuous economic landscape of the last 12 months, ESPC suggests property owners are staying put longer to see how the dust settles before going to market. Despite this, the property portal is confident that there are plenty of keen buyers – which is good news for potential sellers.

Overall, new property listings fell by 3.7% year-on-year between March-May 2023. Some regions did experience an increase in new listings, however, with Edinburgh’s Fettes and Shandon areas up a whopping 77.8% and 45.5% respectively, while West Lothian’s Kirkliston was up a significant 57.1%.

Median Time Properties Spend on the Market Year-on-Year Slowly Increasing with a Current Average of 24 Days

Between March-May 2023, the average time a property spent on the market before being sold was 24 days. When compared year-on-year, this is 10 days slower annually but only three days behind the figures seen in the same period of 2019. Harking back to the high-demand frenzy of the post-lockdown years of 2021/22, however, ESPC states its unsurprised by the lengthening timeframe as the market continues to adjust to this new landscape.

Between March-May this year, homes went under offer the fastest in West Fife & Kinross in a median time of 18 days, 6 days slower year-on-year. Next was East Lothian, where properties sold within an average time of 22 days, 9 days slower annually. In Edinburgh, properties took a median of 24 days to go under offer, 9 days slower than the previous year. 

​​Vast Majority (78%) of Properties Continue to Sell for Their Home Report Valuation or Higher at Sale

In spite of the relative cooling the property market has faced so far, one encouraging factor has remained steadfast for over a year: a significantly large percentage of homes continue to sell for their Home Report Valuation (HRV) or higher at sale. In fact, between March-May alone, 78% of properties have met the criteria, achieving on average 102.9% of their HRV at sale. Compared to the same period last year, this is 4.5% lower but continues to show the competitiveness of local Scottish markets. 

East Lothian properties attained the most over their HRV at sale, hitting 104.3% – a decline of 4.5% annually. Next up was East Fife which enjoyed 103.1% – a 5.9% decrease year-on-year, while Edinburgh properties came in third with 102.9% – a fall of 4.1%. The largest drop was seen in West Lothian, where homes attained 101.2% of their HRV at sale – 6.6% below the same period last year.

Final Thoughts

While there are strong signs that the property market is returning to its pre-pandemic equilibrium, solid supply and demand continues with homes being snapped up relatively fast and buyers willing to pay over and above Home Report Valuations at sale across key areas in Scotland.

The CEO of ESPC, Paul Hilton, had this to say: “As we enter the summer months, we are continuing to see clear signs that the market is cooling and returning to more normal levels last seen in 2019 before the disruption of the pandemic. There have been reductions in sales volumes… sellers are being more cautious and buyers are taking affordability into account. However, the market is still performing well with demand particularly high in Midlothian and West Fife and Kinross as buyers continue the trend of seeking larger more affordable homes with an easy commute to the Capital.”


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