How much higher can house prices go?

David Alexander
David Alexander

The latest data shows that average property prices in Scotland have increased by 20% since the start of the pandemic, but how much longer can growth go on for?

Analysis of the latest figures provided by DJ Alexander Ltd, part of the Lomond Group, shows that between March 2020 and February 2022 average residential property prices in Scotland rose 20% from £150,625 to £180,822.

In Glasgow over the same period average house prices increased 24.3% rising from £133,368 to £165,805; There was an increase in Edinburgh of 14.8% from £274,512 to £315,070; up 13.9% in Dundee from £123,029 to £140,218; and an increase of 2.4% in Aberdeen from £141,192 to £143,591.

David Alexander, the chief executive officer of DJ Alexander Scotland, commented: “While nobody will be surprised that these has been such a large jump in average house prices in Scotland since the pandemic began many are now questioning just how long this can go on.

“Brakes are being applied across the economy in terms of rising interest rates, higher utility bills, increased living costs, and rising inflation so it is clear that many of the elements which have contributed to this boom have, or are, rapidly disappearing.”

Alexander continued: “It took almost seven years prior to the pandemic for average house prices to increase 20%. Between May 2013 to February 2020 average prices in Scotland rose 19.3% which is more in line with long term growth in the housing market.”

“What is of concern is that we have had this sudden demand which is now reducing and there are concerns about the degree of contraction likely to occur in the housing market both in Scotland and across the rest of the UK.”

While some experts think it is premature to think of a sudden fall in house prices, recent months have seen a progressive softening of average prices, and Alexander expects this trend to continue and level out at an annual rate of between 2% and 3% in the next year or so.

He added: “The plus points are that we have record low unemployment, so homeowners are likely to be reasonably secure in the short term. The key will be how well households cope with the substantial increases in utility bills this Winter coupled with the rising food prices due to the war in Ukraine. I think we may, at present, be on a tipping point between a controlled decline in house prices and some degree of then falling more substantially if the economy does not pick up and the domestic prices pressures continue to rise.”

Average price change between March 2020 to February 2022 of all property types in Scotland: 

Location                            Difference          March 2020                      February 2022

Glasgow                            24.3%                  £133,366                           £165,805

Scotland                           20.0%                  £150,625                           £180,822

Edinburgh                        14.8%                  £274,512                           £315,070

Dundee                             13.9%                  £123,029                           £140,218

Aberdeen                         2.4%                    £141,192                           £143,591


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