Volume of house sales up 18.2 per cent

Published: 26 April 2016

The volume of residential property sales rose 18.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015-16 compared to the same period last year, according to official statistics published today by Registers of Scotland.

A total of 19,802 properties changed hands between January and March, the highest volume of sales for these months since 2007-08.

RoS' director of commercial services, Kenny Crawford, said: "We've seen a sustained increase in the volume of sales throughout the 2015-16 financial year. While volumes are up this quarter, prices are down by 8.4 per cent compared to the previous year, bringing the average price to £159,198.

"This time last year, we saw a spike in house prices, with an increase in the number of high value property sales. By comparison, this year has seen an increase in the volume of lower value properties being sold, which may account for this year's lower average price. Future sales statistics will determine  whether this is a one-off decrease, or whether this is a trend that will continue."

The total value of sales across Scotland increased by 8.3 per cent compared to the previous year to just over £3.15 billion. The City of Edinburgh was the largest market, with sales of over £554.6 million for the quarter, up 3.3 per cent. Midlothian recorded the highest increase in value, with sales  of over £63 million, an increase of 56.5 per cent compared with the same quarter last year. Aberdeen City showed the largest decrease in market value, down 22.7 per cent to £162.7 million.

The highest percentage rise in the volume of sales was in Midlothian, with an annual increase of 48 per cent to 333 residential sales. Edinburgh City recorded the highest volume at 2,507, up 22.4 per cent compared to the same quarter the previous year. The largest percentage fall in volume of sales  was in East Renfrewshire, down 14.5 per cent to 288.

East Renfrewshire recorded the highest average property price at £222,303, down 7.9 per cent on last year. The largest percentage rise was seen in North Lanarkshire, where the average property price rose 6.6 per cent to £116,738. The highest percentage fall was recorded in East Lothian, with an average  price of £207,276, a fall of 16.5 per cent on last year.

All property types showed an increase in sales volumes, with flats showing the biggest increase at 24.2 per cent. They also all showed a decrease in average price this quarter, with detached properties showing the biggest decrease, down 11.6 per cent to £236,249. Semi-detached, terraced, and flatted  properties showed price decreases of 8.5 per cent, 10.5 per cent, and 7.4 per cent respectively.

These statistics cover all residential sales, including those that did not involve a mortgage.


Communications, Registers of  Scotland, Meadowbank House, 153 London Road, Edinburgh, EH8 7AU

For further information,  please telephone Barry Connolly on 0131 528 3792 or email communications@ros.gov.uk.

Notes  to editors

  1. For the full picture and detail, read the Registers of Scotland Official Statistical Report. Information available for comparison includes average house price, median price, number of sales and value of sales by local authority area during the quarter (January to March 2016), as well as the previous quarter and the same period in 2015.
  2. The statistics have been produced in accordance with the Code of Practice for official statistics. The method of calculating the figures has been independently audited to ensure that the information is accurate and comprehensive.
  3. RoS has developed a methodology for delivering statistics based on house type. This covers four house types: detached, semi-detached, terraced, and flatted (encompassing all types of flats, maisonettes, tenements and four-in-a-block properties).
  4. RoS began compiling quarterly statistics on the housing market with the completion of the extension of the Land Register to all counties in Scotland in April 2003.
  5. Registers of Scotland (RoS) is the government department responsible for compiling and maintaining registers relating to property and other legal documents in Scotland. RoS records and safeguards the rights of the individual while providing open access to information on the registers.
  6. Since 1 April 2015, RoS has supported Revenue Scotland in the enforcement and collection of land and buildings transaction tax.
  7. These figures cover all residential sales, including sales for cash not involving a mortgage. Approximately 25 per cent of sales fall into this category.