Country house prices in region continue to rise

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THE Borders is bucking the national trend in terms of prime house prices, according to Lauder-based top-of-the-range estate agents Knight Frank.

According to the firm’s latest property index, prices of country houses in the region rose by 0.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year and are back at levels last seen in June 2010.

This is in contrast to Scotland as a whole where prime house prices fell 0.4 per cent after a 1.3 per cent decline in the last quarter of 2011.

Grainne Gilmore, Knight Frank’s head of residential research, commented: “Prime Scottish property prices outside Edinburgh fell again in the first three months of the year, but at a more modest rate than in previous quarters. Average values of prime Scottish country houses have been falling or static for nearly two years now, but the 0.4 per cent decline in the first three months of the year is the smallest fall since June 2010, when prices rose by 0.8 per cent.

“But there are also wide regional variations in prices and, significantly, values in the Scottish Borders are continuing to rise. Prices in the region are up 0.4 per cent on the quarter and are back at levels seen in June 2010.

“In contrast, prices in the north-east of Scotland fell by 0.9 per cent between January and March. However, price falls in Argyll moderated noticeably, with prices declining by 0.7 per cent after two consecutive quarterly falls of more than 2.5 per cent.

“Activity in Edinburgh has bounced back during the first couple of months of the year and we expect to see this ripple out to the regions.

“There has certainly been an influx of determined vendors in Edinburgh and outside the capital who are keen to achieve a sale and have priced their property to suit the market in order to achieve this. Buyer interest is strongest in the very best properties, priced correctly.

“There is still strong interest in the very top-end properties among domestic and overseas buyers, especially if the property is unique or unusual.

“House prices in areas with good schools or transport links to Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen continue to lead the way, with prices in the Borders up 1.6 per cent on the year.