House prices in west central Scotland slowed gradually over the last three months of 2007, but remained well above the average for the UK.

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House price inflation across west central Scotland slowed to 8.2%, down from 11.9% this time last year and 9.1% in October, according to the latest GSPC (Glasgow Solicitors Property Centre) quarterly house price report.

This is above the UK average at around 6.9%, down from 9.3% in the third quarter last year.

The gradual slowdown suggests Scotland’s largest property market is experiencing a ‘soft landing.’

While prices were down to 5.4% from 6% in Glasgow, more affordable areas including Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire and North Lanarkshire saw prices rising faster than a year ago.

‘These figures go a long way to showing why homeowners and buyers in Scotland should not be too heavily influenced by UK-wide reports on the property market. The west of Scotland is slowing, but continues to fare better than south of the border,’ says GSPC chairman Michael Samuel.

Archie Leslie-Ingram from Bell Ingram in Perth (www.bellingram.co.uk) predicts price growth will slow to 4% this year, compared to 12% last year.

Historically, Scotland has not witnessed a crash in values and the slowdown could be an adjustment to racing prices over the last few years, he believes.

‘Anything rural with land is selling well, despite land values going up enormously. People are happy to pay for a bit of land to secure their privacy or use for leisure purposes. Commutability to urban centres, stations or airports is important too,’ Mr Leslie-Ingram adds.

Equally, there will always be purchasers keen on remote spots, argues Mr Leslie-Ingram. ‘There is always a queue looking for an isolated location.’

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