The north-east property market is still facing “substantial challenges” as new figures reveal house prices in the region were down by up to 2.1%.
Aberdeen Solicitors’ Property Centre (ASPC), in co-operation with the University of Aberdeen, has published statistics for the final quarter of last year, which reveal house prices in the city are down by 1.8% in the fourth quarter of the year.
The figures also show the annual house price has decreased by 1.4% in the last quarter of the year compared to the same quarter in 2017.
The biggest changes have been seen in Inverurie and Ellon where prices dropped by 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the third.
John MacRae, chairman of the board of directors of ASPC, said the figures show the local market is still facing “substantial challenges”.
He added: “Nevertheless there are some modest signs that things are slowly improving or at least continuing not to deteriorate.
“The fourth quarter of each year and the first quarter of each year tend to be the two poor quarters in the year with the spring and summer quarters being the most active.
“Despite the continuing difficulty, the sales of properties in the third and fourth quarters of 2018 exceeded the sales in the corresponding periods in 2017.”
A total of 1,278 homes were sold in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in the fourth quarter, which is down 6.5% from the previous quarter.
But the figure is up 11.6% compared with the volume of sales a year ago.
The number of flats sold decreased by 1.4%, while the volume of semi-detached homes sold is down by 8.9% and the number of detached also decreased by 7.7%.
The newly-released figures show that the average price of a flat was £132,256 in the fourth quarter of 2018, down £3,557 from the third quarter when it came in at £135,813.
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Mr MacRae added there was “some cause for optimism” towards the end of last year in that sales were increasing.
He added: “Properties were being priced to sell and buyers seemed to be appreciating that there might not be a better time to make a move, given the low prices and the current low interest rates.
“It is a little early in this year yet to make any judgement as to how this year will be but we should know by the end of the first quarter how things are going.”