Property experts in the Scottish capital say that now is the time for homeowners who want to sell to take the plunge, before supply outstrips demand even more.
It’s good news for buyers, says David Marshall of estate agents and solicitors Warners (0131 667 0232; warnersllp.com), who adds: “With more homes now coming on to the market, there is greater competition between sellers leading to the cooling in selling times and premiums that we have seen recently.”
Warners recorded a 13 per cent annual rise in the number of properties going on sale in the last three months of 2017, when the average selling price was 5.4 per cent above their Home Report valuation.
That figure was 6 per cent in the preceding three months.
Edinburgh’s annual house price inflation rose as high as 10 per cent during 2017 but it is expected to be around 2.5 per cent in 2018, in line with the rest of the UK of up to 3 per cent.
House builders CALA Homes has several new developments across Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian – with a special Land & Building Transaction Tax-free offer on reservations made by January 31 on some homes.
Scotland replaced Stamp Duty Land Tax with LBTT in 2015.
The last five-bedroom home at CALA Homes’s Liberton Grange, four miles from Edinburgh city centre, is for sale at £630,000 with LBTT paid, a saving of £39,850 (01313 413818; cala.co.uk).
And at CALA Homes’s Mayburn Park in Straiton, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, a five-bedroom home for sale at £450,000 offers potential LBTT savings of £18,350 (01313 415691; cala.co.uk).
“The tax can require large cash reserves and can even put a move back months, if not years, or possibly make it unaffordable altogether,” says sales and marketing director Philip Hogg.
“This kind of support is not available in the second-hand market.”
Similar “Life Less Taxing” offers are available on new CALA Homes developments in villages and towns surrounding Edinburgh, such as South Queensferry, North Berwick and Dunbar.
But if you have your eye on Edinburgh and are not ready for a move yet, it could be worth waiting to see detailed plans for Edinburgh Marina’s new £500million waterside quarter at Granton’s Western Harbour three miles from the city.
A development of 104 one, two and three-bedroom apartments designed for over-55s has been approved and is due for completion in 2020, although no prices are available.
The upmarket Living For Retirement homes will be the first built in Scotland and will feature private storage spaces and parking, access to a new health and wellness centre, plus a private bistro, lounge, cinema, library and laundry room – all set around a one-acre landscaped garden close to the marina.
Edinburgh Marina Holdings’s masterplan for the 69-acre site will include a number of other residential properties and the marina will have world-class sailing facilities including 317 berths, 24-hour access to the sea and catering services.
Developer Kevin Fawcett says the marina will be the most important built in the UK for decades.
With a new tram extension to Granton and Leith from the city eventually planned, the marina development will transform an area that has suffered industrial and commercial decline for years.
Fawcett adds: “It will help to re-establish Edinburgh’s maritime economy as well as creating a vibrant new city quarter that will enhance Edinburgh’s reputation as one of the UK’s most attractive lifestyle destinations.”