News: Bonny Scotland booming

Tue, 09 Oct 07

Scotland is the best place to buy a property in the UK, according to a new report...

Scottish properties are continuing to rise in value, according to Halifax, in contrast to a generalised downward trend across the rest of Britain.

The bank reveals that property inflation north of the border is higher than anywhere else in the UK except London and Northern Ireland. Prices have risen 0.7 per cent over the past three months and are more than 14 per cent higher than a year ago.

A report in Scotland on Sunday revealed that the Nationwide building society, in its own house price index, claims that Scottish house prices have increased 2.5 per cent in the last quarter and 12 per cent over the course of the past year.

Inflation soaring

The paper also cited research from the Edinburgh Solicitors' Property Centre (ESPC), which concluded that house price inflation in Scotland had gone up in September, climbing to 13 per cent from 10.6 per cent the previous month.

In contrast, there are signs in some areas of England and Wales that property prices are receding - not necessarily a negative for buy-to-let landlords, given that it can provide the opportunity for portfolios to be added to at a lower price.

According to Scotland on Sunday, large urban centre such as Leeds, Birmingham and Nottingham have seen property price increases either "ground to a complete halt" or even begin to recede.

According to Leigh Bradnick of England Estates, an estate agent based in Birmingham, prices "are being cut by at least five per cent, and vendors are having to go lower still when finally negotiating a completion price".

He advised that property owners "are having to be very realistic about what their properties are worth".

North and  Midlands ‘slowing’

However, a report in the Times indicates that not everywhere is seeing a decline in prices - and in London and the south-west, they are rising continually, to the effect that young people and first-time buyers are unable to access the property ladder.

The newspaper quotes a recent Hometrack report which - despite acknowledging that prices in Yorkshire, the north and the Midlands have slowed down - concluded that the price of "starter homes with two or three bedrooms is commonly out of reach".

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