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Rain blamed for Scottish house price slump

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House prices in Scotland took their steepest monthly fall since the start of 2009, with wet weather being blamed for the slump in the market.

The latest LSL Scottish house price index found that prices in Scotland fell by 2.1% in the year to August, dropping to a national average of £143,867.

Areas such as South Ayrshire and West Dunbartonshire were worst hit during the month, slumping 12.9% and 10.4% respectively. Prices in 21 of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas fell over the course of the month.

Total house sales in August were down 6% on July, with Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, blaming the poor weather conditions for the fall.

“The headline figures suggest the housing market is slipping back into the deep hole it found itself in during 2009, but it isn’t time to start ringing the alarm bells just yet. There were ‘freak’ factors in play over the summer which affected August prices: various summer events and the torrent of rainfall.

“In the longer term, the feeling around the market at the moment is one of cautious optimism. This year has seen a tentative recovery in first-time buyer numbers. But it is a fragile recovery which could easily be shattered by a sharp downturn in the economy.”

Edinburgh remained the most expensive area of the country to purchase property, with prices in the capital rising 2.3% to £219,918.

“Things were more varied on a regional basis,” added Sexton. “Prices in Edinburgh continue to rollick along, thanks mainly to the greater number of wealthier buyers who live in the capital.

“In less affluent areas, fewer buyers have been able to meet mortgage finance requirements, which has reduced sales levels and dragged down prices as a result.”

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