House sales in Scotland up 21 per cent in July

House sales in Scotland increased by 21 per cent between June and July, boosted by increased lending to new buyers.

The latest House Price Index from LSL/Acad Scotland indicates that increased activity from new buyers has helped to keep house prices broadly flat. Overall, 7,281 properties were sold in July compared with 6,011 in June.

The average price of a house stood at £145,622 in July – down 0.3 per cent on June and 0.5 per cent annually.

The report cites research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders which suggests that first time buyer activity increased by 20 per cent during the second quarter of 2012 compared with the first quarter of 2012.

E.surv chartered surveyors director Richard Sexton says: “Life for first time buyers in Scotland has improved markedly this year. There have been 1,100 more loans to new buyers so far this year than in the equivalent period last year. This has helped push up activity throughout the whole market, with July seeing 1,529 more sales than June.

“New buyers in England and Wales have to stump up £22,000 more on average than Scottish buyers to get a loan, which is a major reason why the Scottish first-timer market is moving more freely.”

Acadametrics chairman Peter Williams says: “In July 2012, the average price paid for a house in Scotland fell by £448, or 0.3 per cent, to £145,622 on a seasonally adjusted basis. We emphasise that this figure is seasonally adjusted, as the non-seasonal figures show an increase in the average house price of some 2 per cent.

“However, in Scotland, prices in July typically increase by 2.3 per cent above June levels, so the trend this year is slightly below par. Typically, in Scotland, we note that seasonal factors reach a peak in July, with prices reducing over the remainder of the year, reaching a low point in March of the following year.”