Scotland posts highest year-to-date annual house price growth

Prices increase in all 32 local authority areas over last 12 months

Scotland posts highest year-to-date annual house price growth

The average house price in Scotland has increased by 7.6%, or an equivalent of around £15,500 over the last 12 months to the end of April, with all 32 local authority areas in the country having seen property prices rise on an annual basis.

According to the latest Walker Fraser Steele Acadata House Price Index, the average price paid for a house in Scotland is £218,394, setting yet another record price for the country – the 10th occasion that this has happened over the past 12 months.

April yielded a £2,400 increase over the revised £13,100 growth in prices seen in the 12 months to the end of March 2022.

“Records were made to be broken as the saying goes and the evidence of this month’s data supports that,” Scott Jack, regional development director at Walker Fraser Steele, commented. 

“All 32 local authority areas in Scotland have seen property prices rise on an annual basis. The last time we witnessed this was in March of last year – a month before Holyrood withdrew the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax holiday it had introduced to support the market in July 2020.”

“While that support was rightly targeted at keeping the housing market functioning during the early months of the pandemic, what is evident now is that people are still looking to move but that a lack of the right kind of stock is supporting prices across the country,” Jack added.

Jack noted that the ending of the LBTT incentive in April 2021 caused an upward blip in prices in March 2021, as purchasers sought to take advantage of the tax savings that were available before they were withdrawn. It also resulted in average prices in April 2021 falling, since most of the high-value properties had been purchased in the previous month. In part, this explains the apparent strong performance in prices in April 2022 – since the starting point for measurement purposes 12 months earlier was from a comparatively low level.

On a monthly basis, prices in April 2022 rose by 0.5%, or close to £1,100. This monthly increase is the lowest recorded in the first four months of 2022.

Looking at the England and Wales regional housing markets in April 2022, only Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North East had annual growth rates lower than Scotland, at 6.1% and 6.2% respectively.

Read more: House price growth relentless in England and Wales.

The index also reported that over the last seven years, sales volumes in April have been lower than in March, except for this year.

The April 2022 transaction total of 7,914 sales is the fourth-highest April figure of the last 10 years. The average sales total for April, excluding April 2020 – at the start of the pandemic – is 7,500 transactions.

The area with the highest annual increase in average house prices in April 2022 was the Orkney Islands, where values have risen by 30.4% over the year.

However, Jack said that the small number of transactions that occur on the islands – just 17 recorded in April – tends to result in volatile movements in average prices, especially when expressed in percentage terms.

On the mainland, the highest increase in average prices over the year was in Argyll and Bute, at 22.7%. The statistics for Argyll and Bute were assisted that month by the sale of a five-bedroom detached home located just outside Oban – it had a guide price of £485,000 but was sold for £600,000.

On a weight-adjusted basis, which employs both the change in prices and the number of transactions involved, there were five local authority areas in April that account for 44% of the £15,500 increase in Scotland’s average house price over the year. These were Edinburgh (17%), Fife (10%), Glasgow (8%), Argyll and Bute (5%), and North Lanarkshire (4%).

The Walker Fraser Steele Acadata House Price Index – formerly the Your Move Acadata House Price Index – is produced by Acadata on behalf of Walker Fraser Steele.