New figures have revealed Aberdeen house prices are down by almost 4.5% – but experts believe they could be on the up for 2018.
The research shows the average price of a semi-detached home in the city decreased to £191,653 during the fourth quarter of 2017, from £200,429 in the third quarter.
The figures – released by Aberdeen Solicitors’ Property Centre (ASPC) in co-operation with the University of Aberdeen Business School Centre for Real Estate Research – show house prices in the city have fallen 6% from 2016.
Stonehaven saw the biggest drop in house prices, experiencing a 5.1% decrease from 2016, while costs fell in Inverurie by 4.4%.
Chris Comfort, property partner at Aberdein Considine, believes the report showed a sense of stabil-isation in the market.
He said: “Things are absolutely picking up – looking at the facts, even the quietest quarter did show that prices have continued to decrease but at a slower level.
“There has been an increase in properties sold compared to last year, showing that the decline is slowing down.
“This is all happening in conjunction with the stabilisation of the oil and gas industry – the start of which we saw in early November – which in turn led to an increase in first-time buyers.
“The oil and gas improvement also positively affected the rental market, which is normally where we first see change.
“This all suggests that we will see a moderate improvement in 2018.”
These sentiments were also echoed by John MacRae, chairman of the board of directors of ASPC.
He said: “The first three quarters of 2017 gave some cause for guarded optimism that perhaps the bottom of our market had been reached in 2016, and, while things are certainly not improving quickly, there had been a slight increase in both volume of sales and total value of sales during the year.
“There are some signs, at practitioner level, indicating that there is a reasonable prospect that the worst may be behind us. Any improvement will be modest and may take several years.”