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Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 08:29 GMT 09:29 UK
Property deal publicity fears
Prospective purchaser looks in estate agent's window
Home buyers are to be offered more protection
House buyers offering large sums for property in Edinburgh could be offered protection by a new privacy clause in conveyancing contracts.

The change follows the disclosure of details of a deal in which the top bidder offered more than twice the asking price.

Some solicitors in Edinburgh's fast moving housing market are now insisting on an extra clause in conveyancing contracts to protect the details of offers.

Lawyers fear prospective buyers could be scared off by any publicity following an offer.

New Town, Edinburgh
Edinburgh's market is booming
Prices in parts of Scotland's capital have been booming.

Figures released by Edinburgh Solicitors' Property Centre show the average house price for a two-bedroom flat in Morningside, Marchmont and Bruntsfield is 137,048.

That represents a 24% rise in comparison with the first three months of last year.

The boom hit the headlines when David and Josephine Nicholson received a cash offer for their Nile Grove home of 850,000 - almost 500,000 more than the asking price.

Particulars of the deal were revealed within 24 hours of the deadline for offers passing, leading to calls for confidentiality clauses.

Public register

Some legal advisers are demanding formal safeguards against disclosure to third parties in case a buyer should be frightened off by unwanted publicity.

Details of property deals do eventually become a matter of public record when the sale is registered.

They also become available confidentially to all solicitors through the ESPC's database.

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