Research article

Intense activity – Scotland Residential

Strong activity in the prime markets of Scotland’s main cities is being driven by competition for larger homes

While Scotland's country locations have led the prime market over the last year, activity in the main cities and suburbs remains intense, as office workers progressively return to the city centres. Transactions above £400,000 during the 12 months ending August 2021 were 63% higher than the pre-pandemic average. Fuelled by a desire for larger homes, prime values in Scotland’s cities and towns went up annually by 7.6% in the 12 months ending September 2021. Let’s dive into the data and trends currently shaping these markets.

Edinburgh remains robust

Supply and demand in Edinburgh’s prime market is relatively balanced, though there are stock constraints at the top-end. Fierce competition for family homes led to an 8.3% annual rise in prime values. But there is more choice for buyers in the market for flats and properties that offer limited private outdoor space.

Transactions above £400,000 during the 12 months ending August 2021 were 63% higher than the pre-pandemic average

Faisal Choudhry, Director, Residential Research

While the popular inner suburbs of Grange, Morningside and Merchiston remain the epicentre, Inverleith, Stockbridge and Trinity were the standout locations, with 92% more prime transactions than the pre-pandemic average. In central areas, increased demand for townhouses has supported prime activity in the city’s New Town and West End. The market continues to expand in Corstorphine and Duddingston, with new developments fuelling Cammo and Leith, which was recently ranked 4th in the world's 50 ‘coolest’ neighbourhoods by travel magazine Time Out.

New build developments have also supported growth in surrounding areas. Here, prime activity was at its strongest in Linlithgow in West Lothian and East Lothian’s coastal areas of North Berwick, Gullane, Dunbar and Aberlady. Meanwhile, value for money has supported growth in Haddington and Penicuik.

Glasgow scales new heights

A record 713 prime transactions in the city area of Glasgow were led by demand for second-hand and new build properties in the West End, Park and Jordanhill areas and family homes in Pollokshields and Newlands. The market has also grown in emerging prime locations such as North Kelvinside.

Outside the city, new build sales boosted prime market growth in Newton Mearns, Kirkintilloch and Bishopbriggs. Meanwhile, a strong second-hand market has supported Bearsden, Kilmacolm and Giffnock. Whilst Bothwell and Thorntonhall remain Lanarkshire’s prime mainstays, the market here has recovered in commuter towns and attractive villages along the Clyde Valley.

Aberdeen is back

The city and surrounding areas are witnessing their best prime transactional markets since the oil and gas led housing market downturn. Growth was led by the second-hand and new build markets in the popular AB15 postcode and areas within easy reach of the city, including Inverurie, Banchory and Stonehaven. Although stock levels continue to reduce, the market remains price sensitive.

Dundee outshines

Dundee’s record prime transactional market above £400,000 was led not only by the traditional hotspot of Broughty Ferry, but also in the west of the city in neighbourhoods around Ninewells Hospital and peripheral new build developments, spilling out into the villages of Liff, Piperdam and Auchterhouse.

Read the articles within Report: Prime Scotland Residential – Winter 2021 below.

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