Scotland’s hot housing market has begun to cool, with the average home price falling month-over-month in both May and June, according to market data released Friday.
The average home in Scotland sold for £182,163 (US$232,253) in June, down 0.7% from May, according to the report from real estate agency Your Move. While sales and price growth began slowing in the spring, Scotland still boasts the strongest housing market in the U.K. with annual price growth at 4.4%.
In Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, the average home cost £273,897 (US$349,211), still up an impressive 8.3% over last year, though the market is slowing slightly. The average sales price in the capital began to cool in May and June due in part to a drop-off in luxury activity.
Sales in Edinburgh over £750,000 (US$956,230) more than doubled in the first three months of this year compared to last year, but took a nosedive in the second quarter—a sign that the strength seen earlier this year was only fleeting, said Jon Tindale, senior housing analyst for Acadata, which provides the analysis for Your Move.
“Although we recognize that these high-value sales are a small proportion of the total number of transactions for the area, they tend to act as a weathervane in determining the overall level of confidence in the market,” he said in the report.
Despite the overall cooling in June, some areas of the country have been recording double-digit price growth since last year.
The average house price in the Shetland Islands soared 20% in June compared to last year, to £196,820 (US$250,940).
Meanwhile, pricier home sales in Inverclyde have cause the average price there to jump 10.4% since last year, due to strong demand for grand Victorian and Edwardian properties in the affluent village of Kilmacolm, according to the report.
Scotland remains one of the strongest housing markets in the broader U.K., despite the small cooling in prices and activity this spring. Prices have slipped dramatically in London over the past three years, with England and Wales recording only a 1.7% annual price growth in June, according to Your Move data.
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In some ways, the slight cooling in Scotland brings a welcome change for home buyers anxious about prices going any higher.
“The market in Scotland has noticeably slowed as we’ve gone into the summer yet it still shows some strong annual growth,” said Christine Campbell, Your Move managing director in Scotland, in a statement. “It’s encouraging to see almost all areas showing positive performance.”