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Experts ‘surprised’ as Aberdeen house prices rise towards end of 2020

ASPC chairman John MacRae was left surprised by the latest Aberdeen house prices
ASPC chairman John MacRae was left surprised by the latest Aberdeen house prices

Property bosses have been left “surprised” after the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire housing market bucked its typical end-of-year slump.

More homes were sold in the last three months of 2020 than any other period over the last five years.

Additionally, house prices throughout the region increased almost across the board during the quarter – but are still lower than they were in previous years.

New figures have been compiled by the Centre For Real Estate Research (CRER) at the Aberdeen University Business School, using data from the Aberdeen Solicitors Property Centre (ASPC).

House prices rise over year

It found that the average price of a standard semi-detached house in the city rose by 3.3% between September and the end of December, and almost 5% when taking into account the whole of 2020.

Despite this, prices are around 4% down on what they were five years ago.

The statistics show that homes in Aberdeen were almost 5% dearer at the end of the year than the start, while there were increases of 6.4% and 5.6% in Inverurie and Stonehaven, respectively.

Prices for countryside properties remained flat, while those in Ellon dipped 6.5%.

Sales numbers up

The CRER research found that nearly 1,600 properties traded hands during the last three months of 2020.

This included 466 flats – 34% more than during July to September – and 587 semi-detached homes.

Additionally, 539 detached houses were sold, marking a 54% increase on the same period in 2019.

The ASPC also tracks the selling prices of property against what owners were hoping to receive.

On average, homes sold for 99% of their asking price – the highest rate for a number of months.

Figures provide ‘welcome surprise’

Chairman John MacRae said the findings were a “rather welcome surprise” – but was quick to pour water on speculation they could indicate any longer-term shifts.

“I think the figures may be reflecting a particular set of circumstances rather than a trend,” he added.

“As we all know last year was very different, with an almost complete cessation of activity from late March until mid-summer, because of lockdown.

“After lockdown ended, our market recovered quickly and activity was at a high level, presumed to be solely down to a ‘catch up’ effect.”

Mr MacRae added: “One thing that was noticeable in late 2020 was that properties coming to market that sold well, were presented well.

“Staging a property is now more important than ever in our very competitive market and sellers should take the time and make the effort to plan their marketing, taking time to assess weak points and, where possible, address them.

“In the last quarter of 2020, those properties that were well presented sold close to, or at, valuation.”

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