A RURAL Scottish local authority has seen house prices rise faster than anywhere else in the country over the past 12 months, according to new data.

Moray, in the north east, has seen house prices rise by 10.7% – the fastest rise in Scotland and the third highest rate of anywhere in the UK.

According to data from Halifax, more than 70 local authority areas around the UK have seen property prices rise over the past 12 months.

Moray is largely rural, with a wide range of golf courses and distilleries, and takes in part of the Cairngorms National Park.

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The increase in property prices in the area was beaten only by Powys in Wales, where house prices increased by 17.4%, and East Lindsey in the East Midlands, where house prices rose by 13.3%.

The data was taken from the Halifax House Price Index, which examined prices in more than 300 local authority areas across the UK in the three months to September this year, comparing them with the same three-month period in 2022.

Including Moray, there were a total of 10 Scottish local authority areas where housing prices rose in the last year.

In order, they are Renfrewshire (up 4.5%), Falkirk (up 3.5%), East Renfrewshire (unchanged at 3.3%), Fife (up 2.5%), Midlothian (up 0.8%), Aberdeen (up 0.7%), East Ayrshire (up 0.5%), Stirling (up 0.4%) and West Lothian (up 0.2%).

Across the UK as a whole, the top ten highest rises were as follows:

1. Powys, Wales, £216,307 to £253,958, 17.4%, £37,651

2. East Lindsey, East Midlands, £194,533 to £220,421, 13.3%, £25,888

3. Moray, Scotland, £162,258 to £179,606, 10.7%, £17,347

4. Babergh, Eastern England, £317,383 to £349,965, 10.3%, £32,583

5. Sunderland, North East, £138,579 to £150,862, 8.9%, £12,283

6. Ealing, London, £494,100 to £531,127, 7.5%, £37,027

7. Westminster/City of London, London, £714,242 to £767,350, 7.4%, £53,108

8. Bolsover, East Midlands, £167,398 to £179,453, 7.2%, £12,054

=9. Cumberland, North West, £165,346 to £176,470, 6.7%, £11,124

=9. Rossendale, North West, £185,658 to £198,102, 6.7%, £12,444

Graham Blair, mortgages director at the Bank of Scotland, said: “House prices in Scotland have proven to be more resilient than many other parts of the UK over the last year, down by less than 1%.

“Of course the performance of the housing market varies greatly in individual areas across the country, and there are a number of locations which have bucked the national trend of falling house prices.

“In total there are 10 places in Scotland where prices have risen in 2023.

“This can happen for a variety of reasons, from the number of properties being advertised for sale, to a spike in demand among buyers locally.”

He added: “Top of the list is Moray, with its wealth of coastal and rural dwellings, where average prices are up by more than 10%.”

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Kim Kinnaird, director at Halifax Mortgages, said: “There are multiple factors which can impact house prices in your local area, ranging from the mix of properties available and the extent of any new housing, to the quality of schools and abundance of job opportunities.

“What’s clear is that the UK housing market is not a single entity that performs in a uniform way across the country, there are differences. While at a national level the current squeeze on mortgage affordability has seen property prices fall over the last year, in many regions there remain pockets of house price growth. While a limited supply of properties for sale could be a factor, this also suggests in some areas, local market activity – and demand among buyers – remains strong.

“Many of the places highlighted in our research also benefit from more remote or rural surroundings and incorporate areas of outstanding natural beauty. These are traits which continue to be desirable for prospective homeowners, bucking the trend of the wider performance of the housing market.”