Edinburgh was somewhat plagued by an under supply of residential property at all levels in 2017. With demand remaining comparatively high, the laws of supply and demand supported prices and the market across the city rose by 5 per cent compared with the previous year.
Competitive closing dates were commonplace and yielded some exceptional prices, well in excess of Home Report valuation. Indeed 71 per cent of the properties we marketed in the capital last year attracted multiple offers and 31 per cent of the winning bids were from cash buyers. Edinburgh has become a global city and more than 40 per cent of our buyers came from outside the city last year, including from London and overseas.
Edinburgh has followed the pattern set in recent years. The Festival affected the market for the early part of the autumn, but from October onwards activity levels increased and there was a tremendous run of sales in the tail end of the year. Indeed, it would seem seasonal dips have become a thing of the past: in the last quarter of 2017 the Edinburgh team agreed more £1 million plus sales agreed than at any other point last year.
I firmly believe that this positivity will continue from early January and we are preparing for an active spring housing market in the Scottish capital. The shortfall in supply is undoubtedly an effect of the increased levels of taxation, with Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) impacting the prime market in particular. It appears that some would-be sellers seem set on staying longer in their homes to save the additional tax in order to make fewer, but bigger, jumps up the property ladder.
However, fortune favours the brave. Over the course of last year we have negotiated longer entry dates to allow sellers more time to search for another home. Indeed there are three principal reasons to sell before you buy in the current Edinburgh market.
Firstly, with fewer properties to compete with, there is an the opportunity to achieve a much better price on yours; secondly, buyers who are not reliant on a sale are unquestionably being favoured by sellers; and thirdly, when it comes to buying you will have a much better idea of how much money you are able to offer for your new home.