ESPC reveals 10% house sales rise

House salesHouse sales in part of Scotland rose more than 10% last year as confidence in the market increased, according to latest figures.

Low interest rates and prices lower than at the peak of the market also helped drive the rise in Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife.
Sales in those areas increased between May and July 2012 and were up 10.2% on the same period in 2011, according to figures from property marketing firm ESPC.
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The average house price in Edinburgh rose by 0.2% to £222,916 year on year.

Dunfermline saw the biggest house price rise in the area, with prices going up 6.4% to £147,575 year on year, although this rate of growth is not expected to be prolonged.

David Marshall, business analyst with ESPC, said: "In most areas prices haven't changed a great deal but the number of homes selling has been considerably higher than in recent years.

"Several factors have led to the rise in sales. Prices are lower than they were at the peak of the market and interest rates are still very low, meaning property is more affordable for many people.

"Our members have also seen some first-time buyers who have been saving over the last few years now have deposits in place to secure a mortgage, which has led to an increase in activity at that end of the market. Finally, confidence in the market has risen somewhat due to the stability in prices in the local market over the last year or so."

Mr Marshall said that buyers are still in a position of "relative strength" in the market and that most homes are being secured for slightly below their home report valuation.

In East Lothian, house prices in May to July 2012 were 2.8% down on the same period the previous year. In West Lothian they were up 2.9% while they rose by 0.4% in Midlothian.

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