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May 20, 2010    

Slow recovery for Scottish housing market

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by Gill Montia

The housing market in Scotland is showing signs of a weak recovery, according to the latest Scottish House Price Monitor from Lloyds TSB Scotland.

In the first quarter of 2010, the value of the average Scottish home rose 0.7%, compared with the previous three months, to £157,801.

The increase is a shadow of the 5.9% gain seen in the final three months of 2009 and gives an annual house price rise of 3.3%, although Dundee is an exception with house prices up an annual 10.7%, to levels last seen 21 months ago.

House purchase transactions were down 19% in the first three months of 2010, compared with the previous quarter, and at around half their pre-recession volumes.

Lloyds Banking Group Scotland’s chief economist, Professor Donald MacRae, observes that mortgage availability, including for first-time buyers, has increased while the cost of borrowing remains low for many mortgage holders.

However, he adds: “The rise in the average Scottish house price identified at the end of last year has not been maintained into 2010.”

The Professor concludes: “The Scottish housing market continues to recover but slowly.”

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