Scotland outperforms England and Wales in March housing market

House prices in Scotland increased by 1.4% month-on-month in March, having seen five consecutive monthly declines to outperform both the English and Welsh housing markets, Walker Fraser Steele has found.

In its latest house price index, the chartered surveyor revealed that the average Scottish house price reached £223,525 in March, increasing by 1.9% year-on-year.

Regional development director at Walker Fraser Steele, Scott Jack, said: "In March, average property prices in Scotland increased by 1.4%, or almost £3,000, following a five-month decline. This was a far stronger performance than that witnessed in the English and Welsh markets. Scotland's average house price is currently just over £223,500, which is about £300 less than its high price from June 2023.

"This significant turnaround speaks volumes about the negligible movement we have seen in recent months."

In March, four authorities, Midlothian, Argyll and Bute, Falkirk and Inverclyde, reached record average values, while 21 local authorities reported increases in their respective average house prices, the highest number since May 2023.

The annual change in house prices in Inverclyde increased by 23.7% in March, with Glasgow City and Angus recording annual increases of 8% and 5.9% respectively.

The five most expensive authorities all reported higher prices in March, with the 1.5% increase in Midlothian making it the fifth local authority with average property prices above £300,000.

Walker Steele Fraser stated that the housing market has been "lacklustre" over the past year, with 2023 as a whole seeing sales total 91,600 properties, which is a 12% decrease on 2022.

However, it added that the headwinds have eased over the past few months, helped by more attractive mortgage pricing and easing cost-of-living pressures.

Furthermore, it stated that "while there remain uncertainties around interest rates and mortgage pricing, there is a general sense that the worst is behind us".

Jack added: "It’s too early to assume the cost of living pressures are abating but mortgage pricing has been keen over the last couple of months as lenders fight for borrowers. With a General Election due this year, we know housing is a key issue for voters and we may yet see some further promises made to buyers and owners before a vote later this year. That would give further impetus to this positive trajectory."

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