Highlands of Scotland and Aberdeenshire see property market pick up

The residential property market in the Highlands of Scotland is seeing a boost from second home buyers while in Aberdeenshire a new road link is attracting those commuting into the city.

Property sales in Inverness increased almost twofold in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the previous quarter, with buyer confidence also remaining high, according to the latest report from Galbraith.

The firm has reported an increase in viewing of 18% and 22% more market appraisals were carried out and overall it has an active database of buyers looking for the right property coming on the market.

‘The property market in the Highlands is proving really strong at present. It continues to benefit from the double buyer market with demand from those moving to or within the area for work and the second home and tourism markets,’ said Phiddy Robertson, who leads the Galbraith residential sales team in Inverness.

The data shows that 78% of buyers in the second quarter were Scottish and 22% from the rest of the UK. The average selling price for property sold by the firm’s Inverness office was £315,696.

‘There is strong demand for well-sited coastal property and many of these benefit from the success of the NC500 which has brought improved services and greater employment opportunities. Buyers are looking for a lifestyle property either as a permanent residence, Bed and Breakfast or holiday home,’ Robertson explained.

‘Properties are selling well with some competitive closing dates being set. One recent sale received an impressive 27% over the asking price. We have an active database of buyers ready to move when the right property comes along so would encourage any home owner considering selling to do so now when the market is extremely buoyant,’ she added.

Meanwhile the firm is also reporting that the Aberdeenshire property market has been positively impacted by the new £1 billion Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) which has created a fast link for commuters to the north, west and south of the city with buyers widening their search north and south of Aberdeen.

Towns now receiving interest from homebuyers include Stonehaven, Laurencekirk, Edzell and Fettercairn to the south of Aberdeen and Balmedie and Ellon to the north, which are all particularly easier to commute from as a result of the AWPR.

‘These areas are allowing buyers to secure a lot more house for their money and are proving popular with people keen to live out with Aberdeen but only a short commute to the city for work, with the likes of Edzell now only being a 30minute drive away,’ said Hannah Christiansen, head of the estate agency team in Aberdeen.

The team in Aberdeen brought 9% more properties to market in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter, conducted 75% more viewings and carried out 88% more market appraisals. Some 80% of buyers were Scottish.

‘Serious buyers are still very much out there and there has been healthy competition for properties across all price brackets. Rural properties with a good portion of land or with useful outbuildings continue to attract a lot of interest from lifestyle buyers and young families alike. We have also had a lot of success with some more quirky properties which offer something a bit more exciting and unique as a home,’ Christiansen pointed out.

The firm has seen a slight slowdown of the market, particularly from out of area buyers who are slightly reluctant to commit until Brexit has been finalised. ‘We didn’t witness any Brexit-affect last year but leaving the European Union is now a very real situation and with it brings a lot of uncertainty, whether it’s a no-deal Brexit or not,’ said Christiansen.

‘However, for anyone considering selling, particularly in towns showing renewed interest, don’t be put off by Brexit as there is an active buyer market for all types of properties, assuming they are sensibly priced,’ she added.