Residential property sales in Scotland rose strongly by volume in the January-March quarter, but average prices were down compared with the previous year, according to the latest figures from Registers of Scotland published today.

A total of 19,802 sales were registered at the Land Register during the fourth quarter of the 2015-16 financial year, up 18.2% on Q4 of 2014-15 and the highest volume of sales for the quarter since the 27,507 completions in 2007-08. Volumes were however 30% down on the October-December 2015 quarter.

Prices however fell by 8.4% on average to £159,198, which is unsurprising given that many sales of more expensive properties completed in January-March 2015 ahead of the introduction of land and buildings transaction tax with its high rates at the upper end of the scale. Although detached properties showed the biggest decline, however, all property types showed an average fall while recording volume growth. There was a 5.1% average decline compared with October-December 2015.

The highest percentage rise in volume of sales was recorded in Midlothian, up by 48% year on year. Edinburgh City, which recorded a 22.4% rise, continued to record the highest volume of sales. Only three areas showed a decline in volume – East Renfrewshire, down by 14.5%, Aberdeen city, down by 10.1%, and Aberdeenshire, down by 9.6%.

Price variations ranged from rises of 9.8% in Shetland (on the lowest volume of any area), 6.6% in North Lanarkshire and 5.8% in Midlothian, to falls of 16.5% in East Lothian, 16.1% in East Dunbartonshire and 15.6% in Edinburgh. East Renfrewshire recorded the highest average price at £222,303, just ahead of Edinburgh at £221,242.

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