• Strongest Scottish house price growth for a year
  • Scotland outpaces England & Wales
  • Higher prices in most local authorities
  • Sales closely matching year-earlier levels
  • Midlothian becomes fifth local authority with average property prices above £300,000
  • Average Scottish house price now £223,525, up 1.4% on February, up 1.9% annually



Scott Jack, Regional Development Director at Walker Fraser Steele, comments:In March, average property prices in Scotland increased by 1.4%, or almost £3,000, following a five month decline. This was a far stronger performance than that witnessed in the English and Welsh markets. Scotland’s average house price is currently just over £223,500, which is about £300 less than its high price from June 2023.

LIS Show – MPU


“This significant turnaround speaks volumes about the negligible movement we have seen in recent months.


“Four authorities—Midlothian, Argyll and Bute, Falkirk, and Inverclyde—achieved new heights in terms of their regional average values and the total number of local authorities reporting rising prices was twenty-one, the highest since May of last year – another clear and welcome sign that the market is beginning to stabilize.


“Of particular note is the 1.5% increase for Midlothian which made it the fifth local authority with average property prices above £300,000.


“It’s too early to assume the cost of living pressures are abating but mortgage pricing has been keen over the last couple of months as lenders fight for borrowers. With a general election due this year, we know housing is a key issue for voters and we may yet see some further promises made to buyers and owners before a vote later this year. That would give further impetus to this positive trajectory.”


Housing market commentary

After falling for five months in a row, average house prices picked up in March by 1.4%, some £3,000, and a positive outcome compared to markets in England and Wales. Scotland’s average house price now stands a little above £223,500, that is within £300 of its peak level reached in June 2023. The seemingly marked turn-round speaks volumes about the narrow tramlines within which the market has moved over the past year.

Figure 1. Weakness in prices appears to have ended

Scotland’s brief flirtation with annual price falls last December has been short-lived. The market swung firmly back into positive territory in March, climbing by more than £4,000 and 1.9% from a year earlier, as Figure 1 shows. This is the strongest performance in more than a year and compares favourably with that seen south of the border over recent months.

Table 1. Average prices in Scotland for Mar 2023 – Mar 2024


Local Authority prices


Table 2. How prices in March 2024 compare




Twenty one local authorities experienced rising prices in the month – the highest number since May last year and a further sign that the housing market is stabilising. Higher values helped four authorities – Midlothian, Argyll and Bute, Falkirk and Inverclyde – to reach new peaks.

The five most expensive local authorities all reported higher prices in March, albeit marginally so in the case of East Lothian. A 1.5% increase for Midlothian made it the fifth local authority with average property prices above £300,000.

Figure 2. How prices have changed between March 2023 and March 2004, by local authority



As can be seen from the heat map, in March the vast majority of local authorities (24) reported stronger prices than a year ago, the highest number since February 2023.

Inverclyde reported a double-digit percentage increase in prices over the year for the second month in a row. That said, we would not read too much into these figures, distorted as they are by a period of price weakness the year earlier.

Transactions analysis


Figure 3. Monthly sales over the most recent year compared with a year earlier




The housing market has been lacklustre over much of the past year. For 2023 as a whole, sales totalled 91,600 properties, which is 12% down on 2022 and not much above the Covid-induced lows of 2020.

But the headwinds have eased over the past few months, helped by more attractive mortgage pricing and easing cost-of-living pressures. As can be seen in Figure 3, monthly sales are no longer lagging materially below year-earlier levels.

A positive shift in market sentiment helped lift sales in January marginally above those in January 2023 and sales for both February and March appear to be closely tracking year-earlier levels. Sales of property in the capital and of properties worth more than £750,000 already appear to be modestly outpacing the corresponding 2023 numbers.

For the time being, it is hard to know whether this is just a degree of stability returning to the market or a more significant recovery story. Sales are still down on pre-Covid levels and market confidence is likely to be sensitive to changing market expectations of interest rates and political uncertainties. However, without doubt analysts’ expectations of significant price falls across Scotland, Wales and England in 2024 have fallen away over the past few months and forecasts have been revised upwards to suggest Scotland may see modest price growth over the year. While there remain uncertainties around interest rates and mortgage pricing, there is a general sense that the worst is behind us. The pent-up demand that built up over 2023 and into 2024 is beginning to come through and that should be reflected in prices. There may also be a move by the UK government to help support first-time buyers in the run-up to the General Election which could add further momentum.

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Scott Jack
Walker Fraser Steele

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