There have been a lot of headlines today along the lines of ‘House prices higher than they were before recession’. I know others will already have pointed this out, but it is worth repeating – this is not true for Scotland.
In fact, as the data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows, this only applies to England. Prices in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are all lower than they were at the start of the credit crunch.
Indeed, prices are below their peak in most English regions too. This is true for the North East, North West, Yorkshire & Humber, the East Midlands and the West Midlands. Only London, the East and the South East now have property values above their peak.
Moreover, property prices have not been moving universally upwards. The ONS reports that prices in Scotland, Wales, the North East and the North West are all lower today than they were a year ago (see graph).
But, of course, that is not true for all of Scotland. Just as there is wide regional variation in property markets south of the Border, the average figure for Scotland is made up of wide regional variations between markets in Scotland. Some areas, like Aberdeen, have seen prices rise significantly over the last year. Others continue to experience falls (see graph).
And, although the data to prove it is scarce, this is almost certainly true at the micro level. Property values in different parts of Glasgow, for example, will change at different speeds and sometimes be going in different directions.
So, if you are looking at the news today and concluding that the value of your home is rising, take care. The news may not reflect what is happening in your local market.