House prices in Scotland fall for first time in a year

But sales at their highest point since 2007

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The Independent Online

The average house price in Scotland fell 0.2 per cent in August according to LSL Property Service, the first downward move in 12 months.

Its report suggests that East Lothian and Aberdeen have seen new peak prices although Edinburgh has experienced falls. The average house is now worth £164,210, up nearly six per cent on the same time last year.

"It’s been an unpredictable and momentous few months in Scotland’s history," said Gordon Fowlis, regional managing director of Your Move. "Uncertainty was still rife over the outcome of the independence referendum, and this hindered the pace of activity in the housing market. Sellers shirked the market and buyers postponed purchase decisions until the dust settled.  This trend appears more acute at the top tiers of the market, where there were bigger investments at stake, and there was an 11 per cent drop in the number of homes sold across Scotland for over £1 million between July and August. "

However, sales were at their highest point in August since 2007 with 60,000 homes sold in the country in the first eight mnths of the year, up 17 per cent on the same period in 2013.

"First-time buyers have been the key unlocking this growth,with sales to this group up by a quarter on last year. Flats are changing hands more furiously than any other property type on the market, as a wave of new buyers with more modest budgets clamber onto the housing ladder," added Mr Fowlis.

According to LSL, Scotland's annual increase in house prices is higher than those in all regions of England and Wales, except for those in the south east - prices have risen in the East Midlands by 6.4 per cent, in East Anglia by 6.5 per cent, in the South East by 10 per cent and in Greater London by around 20 per cent.