Two of Scotland's regions have seen the biggest house price gains in the UK over the past 12 months according to Bank of Scotland's quarterly house price index. Interestingly, the 10 UK regions with the biggest price gains are all outside southern England.
In Scotland, Dumfries & Galloway and the Highlands have seen rises of 41% and 30% respectively. In the Galashiels area there are significant developments being undertaken with the construction of 250 new build properties on the site of the Dingleton Hospital and a proposed 500 new builds at Tranent in Lothian.
Hotspots in the Borders area continue to be Galashiels and Melrose in anticipation of the proposed new railway link, and Peebles for its direct commuter link to Edinburgh.
Fife (average price £96,294) was the only region with an average selling price below £100,000 in 2004 Q1.
House prices in Fife's larger towns – Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Dunfermline – have been steadily increasing over the past year. This can be attributed to supply shortages and strengthening economic conditions.
Flats in Kirkcaldy are still affordable to first-time buyers and there are a few new build projects at the moment that are being sold as quickly as they are released. Long-term works on the Forth Road Bridge may well hamper the attraction of commuting from Fife.
The housing market in Glasgow has seen great competition for the limited number of properties available. Developments such as Glasgow Harbour have proved very popular with all properties being snapped up quickly. House price inflation in the city shows no signs of abating.
First-time buyers are having difficulty entering the market in Dumbarton with the majority of new developments – detached and semi-detached properties – not being designed for people looking to get a start in the housing market.
The Highland region has seen house prices rise by 30% overall with Inverness leading the way. Over the past three years house prices on the Black Isle have risen significantly and land values everywhere within commuting distance of Inverness have been on the up.
Buyers in the Grampian region have seen house prices rise by 12%, to an average of £107,403. However properties in Aberdeen have risen over the past year by around 6%, to £104,305, highlighting increased pressure from buyers looking to commute into the city.
There are signs that Edinburgh's booming housing market may finally be slowing down. A survey from Lloyds TSB suggests that property prices went up by just 5% in the past three months – the smallest increase in the past couple of years.
At the moment there are far more properties up for sale in the capital than there were this time last year but those selling may about to be disappointed, since homes on the market now may not reach the kind of record prices they did 12 months ago. On the other hand, the same study says house prices in Glasgow have just shot up by 26%.