Scotland’s housing market in 2020

Blog post by Rachael Fairley, statistician in the land and property data team here at Registers of Scotland (RoS).

RoS is one of the leading sources of land and property data and statistics in Scotland.

We deliver data reports to over 70 regular customers and publish official statistics on house prices on our website.

We have a range of users, from industry experts, to public bodies such as the Scottish Government and the Scottish Fiscal Commission who use the data and statistics for policy development and analysis.

This blog post will cover the housing market in 2020 and over the last 5 years. The statistics used can be found on our website.

Key Messages from 2020:

  • The average property price in 2020 was £188,872[1], an increase on the previous 4 years.
  • The volume of residential property sales in 2020 was 85,411, the lowest annual volume in the last 5 years.
  • The volume of sales in December 2020 was the highest in the last 5 years.
  • The average residential property price in December 2020 was the highest in the last 5 years.

Average residential property prices in Scotland over the last 5 years

The average property price in 2020 was £188,872. This is an increase of 4.4 per cent on the average property price in 2019. The average property price in 2020 was the highest when compared to the previous 4 years.

Comparing the average house price in 2016 with 2020, house prices have increased by 14 per cent from £165,670 to £188,872.

Chart 1: Average residential property price, 2016 to 2020, Scotland

Chart 1: Average residential property price, 2016 to 2020, Scotland

The average house price in December 2020 was £198,179, which is the highest average house price recorded in the last 5 years in Scotland.

Chart 2: Average residential property price, by month, 2016 to 2020, Scotland

Chart 2: Average residential property price, by month, 2016 to 2020, Scotland

Volume of residential property sales in Scotland over the last 5 years

The volume of residential property sales in 2020 was 85,411. This is the lowest volume of sales when compared to the previous 4 years.

Chart 3: Volume of residential property sales by year, Scotland, 2016 to 2020

Chart 3: Volume of residential property sales by year, Scotland, 2016 to 2020

The volume of residential sales in December 2020 was the highest in the last 5 years, with 14,124 residential sales compared to 10,176 the previous year. This is an increase of 38 per cent.

The fall in volumes in March, April and May 2020 clearly show the impact of the first Covid-19 lockdown from 23 March 2020 and temporary closure of the application record on 25 March 2020.

Chart 4: Volume of residential property sales by month, Scotland, 2016 to 2020

Chart 4: Volume of residential property sales by month, Scotland, 2016 to 2020

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[1] Average Price is calculated using the arithmetic mean which is different from the geometric mean used in the UK House Price Index. More information on the key differences.

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