UK lettings firm Apropos has found the number of properties advertised for sale rose by up to 55 per cent year on year in 12 of the country’s 20 largest cities – with Edinburgh top of the list.
However, the remaining eight cities, including Bradford and Newcastle, experienced a reduced number of properties advertised.
The figures compare the number of properties advertised for sale in December 2019 with December 2020 and found Edinburgh has had the largest increase, up 55 per cent, from 1,401 to 2,173.
David Alexander, Apropos joint chief executive officer, said: “This demand, which was initially expected to be the result of pent-up demand, has defied expectations and continued throughout the second half of the year and shows little sign of abating with buyers keen to get their sale through before the ending of the stamp-duty holiday at the end of March.”
Stamp duty was replaced in Scotland with the land and buildings transaction tax in 2015, but its threshold is also due to rise at the end of March.
At the other end of the market, Bradford had the largest drop with 23 per cent fewer advertised properties, while Newcastle was down 17 per cent.
Mr Alexander said: “This may be due to longer periods of lockdown, greater employment uncertainty, lower investor interest, or a combination of these reasons.”
However, he said the overall figures show the market “is experiencing something of a boom”.
He said: “How long this will last is debatable, since it is clearly going to stay buoyant in the run-up to the March 31 deadline.
“After that, it remains to be seen if this momentum can be sustained.”
Mr Alexander said: “The strength of the market will be dependent upon what happens with employment levels, insolvencies and how quickly the economy can bounce back.”