New Homes Market Review | Autumn/Winter 2020

"We proactively continued our engagement with our client database during lockdown to keep them informed of opportunities that would be coming to the market once restrictions were lifted. We have also taken active steps to allow potential buyers to view new build properties in a safe and compliant way. These steps have resulted in a strong return in new build sales since the market reopened in July.”

Calum Miller, Associate Director of New Homes, Rettie


  • Demand for well-located family housing has been strong in the wake of lockdown as buyers seek additional space
  • The average new build price in Edinburgh is now over £370,000 and £386/sqft
  • The average new build price in Greater Glasgow is now over £260,000 and £232/sqft
  • New build developments have been competing against increased second-hand supply, with some developers offering incentives on LBTT, mortgage repayment and deposit assistance

A New Market

The New Build market in Scotland in the post-lockdown environment has mirrored many of the wider trends seen in the overall sales market, with a strong return of demand especially for high quality locations and family homes. Over the past few years, demand for family homes in accessible but affordable family locations has been increasing, especially in the Edinburgh hinterland. The drivers of this have been rising costs and limited supply of suitable accommodation within the city, combined with a push to increase new housing delivery across Scotland. As families have had time to consider their living arrangements and with changes in work patterns, the attraction of more space, a garden and suburban or rural setting have become more compelling and possible. The home builders have been acknowledging this trend post-lockdown, with many offering a number of incentives to attract buyers to new housing stock over existing homes by reducing the barriers to moving. Incentives on LBTT, mortgage payments, reduced deposits and part exchange are enabling would be buyers to eschew many of the hassles and impediments to moving.

new homes figure one infographic

Elsewhere in the market, there has also been a clear upturn in prime new build and prime conversion properties. In Edinburgh, this demand is coming from a wide range of buyers, both within the local market but also from down south and overseas, including ex-pats and foreign nationals. As agents for some of the leading prime new build developments in Scotland, such as Playfair at Donaldson’s, Waverley Square, Craighouse and the recently launched New Eidyn at Edinburgh St James, we have seen enquiries for these flagship developments increase as lockdown restrictions began easing. Many buyers are looking to secure the combination of prime location with the convenience and amenity of new build. New Eidyn at Edinburgh St James is notable as a super prime offering, which will command a new price benchmark in the city.

new homes figure two infographic

In a post-lockdown landscape, where office and retail use classes look set to rationalise in urban centres, residential development is well positioned to absorb changing space uses. Trends of conversion and development seen in the West End of Edinburgh and Glasgow City Centre will no doubt accelerate. Both these locations have prime historic stock currently being used for office and retail, which offer potential for conversion to high quality residential uses. As we move forward, we expect to see the trends of family suburbanisation and urban redevelopment progress more rapidly than previously forecast.

If you have any questions on New Homes, please don't hesitate to contact our team.

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