House prices fall in Scotland for the first time in a year

Scotland bricks

House prices in Scotland dropped by 0.2% in August, taking the average price of a home in the country to £164,210, according to a new survey.

This represents a fall of £285 on the July figure, the report by LSL Property Services/Acadata revealed.

On a more positive note, LSL's House Price Index showed that August 2014 was the strongest August in seven years for house sales in the country. First-time buyers accounted for a significant proportion of this growth in sales, up by 25% compared to the previous year.

While house prices rose by 2.1% in Aberdeen City and by 1.8% in East Lothian - record highs in these areas – they fell by 0.3% in Edinburgh to £241,923.

Houses at the top end of the market suffered the most, with an 11% monthly drop in the number of homes sold across Scotland for more than £1 million.

Annual house price figures revealed a healthier picture, with a 5.7% annual rise, which means that the average home in Scotland is worth £9,000 more than a year ago.

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Unpredictable and momentous

Gordon Fowlis, regional managing director of Your Move, said: "At a time when property values across the rest of the UK were continuing to grow, Scotland moved against the grain and average house prices dropped across more than half the country – including Edinburgh, Aberdeenshire, South Lanarkshire, East Dunbartonshire and Fife.

"It's been an unpredictable and momentous few months in Scotland's history. In August, uncertainty was still rife over the outcome of the independence referendum, and this hindered the pace of activity in the housing market.

"Annual price growth is holding fast, and Scotland's average home is worth £9,000 more than a year ago. This 5.7% annual rise is hardier than the growth currently being witnessed in regions outside of the South East sphere of the UK, as Scotland continues to sail on course through the recovery.  

"More and more parts of the map are being swept up in the stream, and house prices in East Lothian and Aberdeen City reached new record highs in August. In Aberdeen especially, new developments and investment in house-building projects are nourishing supply of available stock on the market, and feeding the appetite of activity. But it was Renfrewshire that currently clinches the top spot for highest annual growth, with prices climbing 17% in the past 12 months."