Average house price in East Lothian now above £300,000

Average house price in East Lothian now above £300,000

THE average house price in East Lothian has jumped above £300,000.

Newly released figures show that the average county property selling price between October and December last year was £319,668.

Over the same period 12 months prior, the figure was £294,412 – an increase of 8.6 per cent.

The period of October-December 2022 takes in all of the recent significant changes in the financial market – interest rates increasing to 3.5 per cent, the rising cost of living, and changes to energy bills – giving some indication of the impact on the Scottish property market.

However, the latest ESPC data reveals that the housing market in East Lothian is still performing strongly, with quick selling times and high levels of the Home Report valuation being achieved, although evidence of a cooling within the market from the post-pandemic highs is starting to show.

The volume of property sales across the county increased by 5.8 per cent year on year, while the median time for a property to go under offer was 14 days – one day slower than the previous year.

‘Demand incredibly high’

Paul Hilton, CEO of ESPC, said: “Demand for homes in East Lothian remains incredibly high, with strong competition from both buyers and sellers.

“While the impact of the recent economic changes on the housing market is uncertain, the East Lothian market remains resilient, with 91.6 per cent of properties selling for their Home Report valuation or higher.”

Musselburgh continues to be a popular place for first-time buyers as more people recognise its amenities and transport links.

Two-bedroom flats in Musselburgh were the most affordable property type, coming in at £177,546.

This was followed by two-bedroom houses in Tranent, which sold for an average of £189,370.

The overall most affordable area in East Lothian was Prestonpans, with an average selling price of £219,285.

The most expensive area to buy in East Lothian was North Berwick, coming in at an average of £477,727.

‘Not surprising’

Market activity remained strong in the final three months of last year, with more buyers coming to the market, shown by sales volumes increasing by 5.8 per cent over the past year.

Musselburgh and Tranent saw a decline in sales volumes, at 13 per cent and 20.5 per cent respectively.

These areas have been particularly popular with buyers over the past two years, and these figures indicate that demand is starting to level off.

However, part of the reduction in sales in these areas could be down to the availability of stock – the figures also show that new property listings in Musselburgh were down 15.5 per cent and 32.1 per cent in Tranent.

Market activity in Dunbar has increased significantly in recent months, as low supply and high demand saw property prices soar in the town in 2020/21. In October-December 2022, sales volumes increased by 44.8 per cent year-on-year.

Mr Hilton added: “It is not surprising that areas like North Berwick, Dunbar, Musselburgh and Haddington are popular areas with families looking for spacious homes in an idyllic coastal or countryside setting that has easy access to the Capital.”

Market starting to cool down

In the past two years, the East Lothian housing market has seen demand outstrip supply but, according to ESPC, the market is starting to cool.

New properties listed for sale declined by 2.7 per cent in October-December 2022.

The largest volume of properties listed for sale was in Musselburgh, followed by Dunbar and Haddington.

Out of the various property types in the county, three-bed houses in Musselburgh were the fastest to go under offer across East Lothian, selling in a median time of 12 days – no change year-on-year.

Four-bed houses in Dunbar also sold quickly, in 17 days, compared to seven days in 2021.

Properties sold the fastest in Prestonpans, with a median time of 11 days – two days slower than 2021.

The biggest change in selling time was recorded in Haddington, with properties taking a median time of 21 days to go under offer, nine days slower than the same time last year.

Working with their ESPC solicitor estate agent, a total of 33.8 per cent of East Lothian sellers opted to set a closing date during October-December 2022, a decrease of 16.2 per cent since the same period last year.

In Prestonpans, this rose to 39 per cent of homes for sale (down 6.3 per cent on 2021) and in North Berwick 38 per cent of homes went to a closing date – a decline of 18.7 per cent annually.

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East Lothian Courier
Cameron Ritchie

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