HOUSING market activity in Edinburgh closed the decade with the highest number of sales for the time of year since before the start of the 2008 financial crash, according to a new report.

In the three months to last November, Warners Solicitors and Estate Agents reached just short of 300 successful sales, marking an annual increase of 43.7%.

The firm has released its latest market report showing the final months of 2019 had the highest number of sales for the time of year since before the recession 11 years before.

It said the number of properties launching onto the market has also been climbing, reaching 20% higher than the same period in 2018 and more than 45% higher than the number of listings during the final months of 2017.

In the last three months, Warners alone said it had added 264 further homes for sale in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

David Marshall, the company’s operations director, said: “Over the last two years there has been a substantial improvement in the number of sellers choosing to put their home onto the market.

“There has also been a rise in the number of new-build properties becoming available for sale across Edinburgh and the Lothians. This rise in the supply of homes coming onto the market has helped to balance out the high demand for buyers.

“As a result the premiums that buyers need to pay to secure a home are lower and house price inflation has eased.”

However, the firm said the prospects for sellers had not been dampened with recent figures showing the median selling time of homes in the area at just 22 days and four out of five homes achieving a price equal to or more than the valuation. Marshall added: “In 2020 the prospect of Brexit looms once more. As previous deadlines were approached this year there was, somewhat surprisingly, very little disruption in the local property market.

“Often people will delay moving home during times of substantial political uncertainty but as each deadline approached in 2019, property sales and listings in Edinburgh and the Lothians remained strong.

“The expectation is that we will see a similar situation in 2020, and that activity in the market will remain brisk throughout much of the coming year.”