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Experts claim the increase is due to a strong demand from wealthy buyers in Scotland combined with a lower number of owners of desirable homes putting their houses up for sale.
The value of Scottish homes in the top quarter of the market in terms of price has risen by an average of £25,000 since January, according to a report – £3,000 every month.
The research by PrimeLocation.com found that asking prices in Scotland rose by 6.8 per cent to an average of £410,530.
Across the UK, asking prices for prime property have increased by an average of £15,934, just 3.5 per cent. London’s most expensive homes saw weaker growth, rising by just 2 per cent.
But the average value is higher UK-wide than in Scotland, at £470,210.
The asking price for properties of any category across the UK rose by just 2 per cent in the same period.
Nigel Lewis, property analyst at PrimeLocation.com, said: “Asking prices for Scotland’s prime property have increased rapidly this year, leaving traditionally more robust regions, such as London and the South-east of England, streets behind.
“This trend is being driven mostly by increased competition among buyers for a diminishing number of the country’s most desirable properties.
“There are a healthy number of prime buyers around, but sellers are thinner on the ground.”
Graeme Hartley, director of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Scotland, said: “The higher end of the market could be performing well because buyers often pay in cash and so a lack of mortgage finance is not affecting them.
“Additionally, the successful oil industry in Aberdeen, which is attracting directors and executives to Scotland, could be skewing the asking-price figures.”
But some property experts warned that, while asking prices may be more buoyant at the top end of the market, the values actually achieved for the properties were often lower.
David Alexander of estate agency DJ Alexander, which has offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh, said: “In my experience, things are selling below home report valuation, never mind Scots lead rise in prime property prices
“The facts are that the market is not good. The economy is not good and the housing market won’t start to recover until the economy does.
“There may be a few anomalies at the top end of the market who are cash buyers, but that is not a sustainable trend.”
THE SCOTSMAN, 30 September 2011
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