In the current economic climate, the post-pandemic property market in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders is showing clear signs of slowing, with buyers being more cautious with the prices they are willing to pay to secure their dream home.

Between April-June 2023, the average property selling price rose marginally by 0.2% year on year (YOY) to £280,286, and 79.3% homes sold for their Home Report valuation or more – which is a 13% drop when compared to the same time last year.

Properties in East Lothian saw the highest selling price increases of 5.7% YOY to £296,869, with Musselburgh recording the biggest jump in price, up 10.2% YOY to £252,353.

Despite having the highest average selling price overall, properties in Edinburgh experienced a decrease of 0.9% YOY, with the average property sold for £299,166 during April-June 2023.

The most affordable property type proved to be 2 bedroom flats in Dunfermline, with the average selling price of £132,192.

Lower bids as buyers are seriously considering affordability

In contrast to the high overbids seen since summer 2020, in April-June 2023 home buyers paid on average 103.3% of Home Report valuation (down 5% YOY), indicating that the property market in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders is rebalancing.

When analysing the number of homes that went to a closing date between April-June 2023, a decline of 10.3% was recorded when compared to the same time last year.

Reduced sales volumes and new property listings

Annual decreases were also observed in the volume of properties sold (down 12.9%), as well as the number of new properties coming to the Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders market (a 3.3% drop).

The largest volume of properties sold during April-June 2023 was found in Leith (up 9.4% YOY), where 2 bedroom flats, followed by 1 bedroom flats, sold in the highest numbers overall. Also 2 bedroom flats in Newington were popular amongst buyers during this period, with sales volumes up 40.9% YOY.

Sales volumes in Musselburgh rose 13.8% annually, whereas, popular post-pandemic, Dunfermline saw a 31% decrease in April-June 2023. It was sellers in Dunfermline who were more active during this time, as this particular location recorded the highest number of new property listings overall, up 2% YOY.

Properties taking longer to sell

Homes across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders were taking seven days longer to go under offer, with a median selling time of 20 days between April-June 2023. The longest it took to sell a property in West Lothian, 37 days on average (10 days longer than last year).

The capital’s median selling time was 20 days (six days longer than in April-June 2022), with properties in the North-West taking the longest to go under offer i.e. 27 days and South-West homes selling the fastest at 15 days.


Overall, the quickest selling property type were 2 bedroom flats in Dunfermline, with a median time of just seven days (six days faster than the same time last year).

Paul Hilton, ESPC’s CEO, commented: “In a typically busier time for the property market, the most recent figures show clear signs that the post-pandemic property boom is slowing, and adjustments are being made for increasing costs and other economic changes.

“With smaller increases in average property selling prices, slower selling times and a decrease in the amount that buyers are willing to pay over Home Report valuation, we can see that the current financial climate is making an impact on the property market. Buyers and sellers alike are more cautious, and buyers are bidding more carefully to ensure long-term affordability for their chosen properties.

“However, there is still plenty to be positive about in the market. Areas offering excellent commuter links to the capital, such as Musselburgh, and areas with more affordable properties, such as Leith and Dunfermline, continue to prove popular with quick selling times and good volumes of sales overall, and average selling prices continue to perform well generally, with increases in many areas.

“It’s an interesting time for the property market, and so it’s more important than ever that buyers and sellers alike work with local property experts, like ESPC solicitor estate agents, to secure up-to-date insights and advice across the local market to help them at this all-important stage of their lives.”