A PROPERTY boom in Edinburgh is fuelling a rise in sales of million-pound properties, new figures have revealed.

THE number of homes sold for six figures or more has risen by almost a quarter in Scotland, with high-end transactions increasing at a faster rate than the rest of the UK.

According to figures released by the Bank of Scotland, almost 100 houses sold for a million pounds or more in Scotland in the first half of 2019, a rise of 21 per cent compared to the year before. Across Great Britain as a whole sales of million-pound-plus houses rose by just 5%.

The increase can be directly linked to the number of six-figure properties sold in the capital, which grew by 41% in the first half of 2019, accounting for 66% of all million-pound houses sold in Scotland.

Louise Santaana, Head of Private Banking at the Bank of Scotland, said: “Whilst the high-value property boom the UK experienced over the last decade has slowed over the past 12 months, sales of million-pound homes in Scotland have continued to increase, with the most transactions taking place in Edinburgh.

“The Scottish capital continues to be a sought-after destination for those looking to invest in million-pound houses.”

Away from the capital, other areas of growth included in East Lothian, where five homes were sold in the first half of 2019, up from just one in 2018, and Aberdeen, where four homes were sold for over one million double the amount the year before.

However, of the 94 million-pound properties sold in Scotland in the first half of 2019, only 32 were sold outside of Edinburgh. High-end sales also slowed in Glasgow, with just two six-figure homes sold up to June this year, versus five in the same period in 2018.

The market also slowed in Fife, where eight homes were sold in the first half of 2018 as opposed to four homes in this year.

Former property hotspots have also fared poorly compared to the capital. The number of homes that sold for over one million pounds in East Dunbartonshire also halved, while East Renfrewshire experienced a drop from three in 2018 to two this year.

The rising number of mansions, townhouses and country homes passing through the market was also picked up by estate agents Savills, who specialise in property at the upper end of the market.

Its spotlight report on Scottish residential property found that there were 231 million pound transactions during the 12 months ending June 2019, including 19 above £2m in Scotland and two above £3million.

Sales at the top end of the property market in Edinburgh were concentrated around the inner suburbs of Grange, Morningside and Merchiston, which accounted for 48 transactions in the last year, eight more than the previous year.

Murrayfield and the area around Belgrave Crescent and Buckingham Terrace has also seen million pound transactions jump from 14 to 27. This means these areas saw more million pound transactions than the New Town and the West End.

Bearsden and Milngavie remain the areas where the majority of million-pound transactions are concentrated near Glasgow, while in Aberdeen the hotspots are the affluent suburbs of Cults, Bieldside and Milltimber.

Writing in the report, Faisal Choudhry, Savills’ Director of Scottish Research, said: “If these figures are not impressive enough, further growth in Scotland’s million pound market seems assured as there are a number of deals yet to be recorded. Strong demand at the top end of the market is further evidenced by a 9% rise in the number of buyers during 2019 that have registered with Savills in Scotland to buy a property at £1m and above.”

Susanna Clark, director of research at estate agents Strutt & Parker in Scotland, said: “The Scottish property market, like the rest of the UK, is characterised by prolonged caution largely as a result of political uncertainty. However, despite a softening in the market, Scotland continues to show resilience and some sectors are still demonstrating reasonable strength.

“An uncertain economic outlook and regulatory environment is restricting supply. Despite the continued increase in new housing completions, the number of properties being built still falls short of demand. Many of the properties which come to the market are now generating competition, often resulting in a closing date. Sterling continues to offer value to international purchasers and increasing yields and rents for buy-to-let properties across Scotland have led to a rise in investor interest.“