Mixed views as property prices fall in Angus

Bill and Molly Milne are pictured handing over a cheque for �630 to Stracathro Hospital Stroke Unit staff members Sandie Japp, Caroline Leith and Kirsten Wilson. ''Copyright Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES
Bill and Molly Milne are pictured handing over a cheque for �630 to Stracathro Hospital Stroke Unit staff members Sandie Japp, Caroline Leith and Kirsten Wilson. ''Copyright Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES

House prices in Angus have fallen by 0.9 per cent in the last year, according to official statistics published by the Registers of Scotland (RoS).

The average house price in the county between April and June 2015 was £153,297 – down from £154,630 for the same period last year.

Angus is one of nine local authority areas to buck the natonal trend, with property prices across Scotland rising by 3.5 per cent.

While rising house prices might be viewed by some as a sign of an improving economy, housing charity Shelter Scotland says increasingly expensive homes are no reason for celebration.

And, despite the marginal fall in prices in Angus, many families simply can’t afford to get on the property ladder.

Graham Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “At a time when many are struggling to afford a home and make ends meet, it’s ironic that some will see rising prices as a positive sign that the housing market is recovering.

“True recovery suggests a return to health. But, when many wages are stagnant and housing costs are already high, an increase in house prices only makes it even harder for people – especially young families – to get a home of their own.

“A healthy housing market is one where everyone has a secure, affordable home whether renting or buying, but many are being denied that right because Scotland has a housing crisis driven by a major shortage of affordable homes.

“We also need to be alert to the rise in interest rates signalled by the Governor of the Bank of England, which will increase the cost of a mortgage. We are already hearing from families and individuals who come to us for help that even a 0.5 per cent increase in rates would make it hard for them to pay for their homes, pushing them further into hardship and towards possible homelessness.”

The average house price in Angus is well below the the average for Scotland of £167,765.

Kenny Crawford, RoS commercial services director, said: “Across Scotland’s local authority areas the picture is mixed. The highest percentage rise was recorded in West Dunbartonshire, where the average price increased 10.1 per cent to £120,822, while the largest percentage fall was in East Renfrewshire, which showed a seven per cent drop to £216,565.”