Midlothian is in the midst of a housing boom, as figures reveal that it has had the biggest increase in house sales and valuations in Scotland.
Statistics released last week by Registers of Scotland reveal that the total value of sales across Scotland in the fourth quarter of 2015-16 compared to the same period last year increased by 8.3 per cent. Midlothian recorded the highest increase in value, with sales of over £63 million, an increase of 56.5 per cent compared with the same quarter last year.
The highest percentage rise in the volume of sales was also in Midlothian, with an annual increase of 48 per cent to 333 residential sales.
Local solicitor Douglas Bowen, of Stuart and Stuart in Bonnyrigg, admitted that it is a good time for house sales in the county. He said: “It has been very busy indeed.
“The big improvement this year has been the speed of sales. Houses have been selling very quickly. If anyone comes in with a reasonable price, just above valuation, then they have been accepting it. So generally the market has been an awful lot better since probably early February.
“Everybody operating in the property world in Midlothian is very busy. Midlothian I would say has always been steady.”
The local solicitor isn’t surprised to see an increase in the number of people buying homes in the county.
He said: “I’m a great Midlothian fan. I have worked here for 38 years and lived here for a big part of that.
“I think it’s a wonderful place to live. And I have heard other people say the same thing.
“The railway has been a big bonus. It always seems busy at the train stations.
“The amenities are very good here as well. There are now better restaurants and facilities too.
“I feel that Midlothian is now the best place to live in the east of Scotland.
“The housing side in Midlothian has always been very steady. I have not known anyone in Midlothian to suffer a huge loss. And certainly now I think house sales can expect to sell for valuation or five per cent above. The important thing is the certainty that you will sell.”
Despite these impressive figures, fears remain in communities across the county that Midlothian is growing too fast, with local services including surgeries and primary schools struggling to cope with the existing demand. While coalescence also remains an issue.