Price falls trend reversed

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BUYER confidence saw Scotland’s new homes market outperform the rest of the UK in April, with the average price of a new home increasing 4.9% over the month, reversing the recent trend for monthly price falls, says SmartNewHomes.

The average price of a new home in Scotland is now £231,102. Prices are up 2.9% over 12 months with a new home now costing on average £6,538 more than in April last year. The average price of a new home in Edinburgh and Glasgow is £227,062 and £265,538 respectively.

In the face of strong price growth, housebuilders have adopted a range of deals and incentives to keep new homes affordable for buyers. These include the MI New Home scheme which has launched exclusively to Scotland’s first time buyers of new build homes and aims to make 95% mortgages more readily available with the Government underwriting loans. It is expected to help 6,000 first time buyers to get on the property ladder in Scotland over the next three years.

The supply shortage in Scotland which remained one of the last hurdles to home ownership has also abated with the number of new homes coming to market seeing annual growth of 210% in April, albeit from a very low base. An increase in the number of new homes available to buy has resulted in greater choice for buyers in Scotland.

Steve Lees, director at SmartNewHomes, commented: “Housebuilders in Scotland reported a rush of activity in the market in April, with buyers buoyed by the raft of new developer deals and incentives, including the Government-backed MI New Home scheme, as well as the greater choice of property available to buy. A flurry of housebuilding activity this year has helped to turn around the fast dwindling supply of new homes seen towards the end of last year but there is still some way to go until it meets demand. Monthly price increases are likely to fall back from the high seen in April but with demand expected to outstrip supply over the long term this will help underpin new home prices in the region this year.”