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What is driving sales in Scotland?

Friday 09 November 2018

Evidence from Galbraith suggests that there is a growing reluctance for buyers to take on renovation projects, but that people are moving to certain areas of Scotland for a lifestyle change and properties that come with land, even if it's a large garden are now appealing more to buyers.

LIFESTYLE BUYERS DRIVE MORAY PROPERTY MARKET

The Moray property market continues to be highly active with lifestyle buyers driving competition in the market place, according to Scotland’s leading independent property consultancy, Galbraith. 

The number of property sales completed by Galbraith in Elgin this quarter (July – Sep 2018) rose by 70 per cent in comparison to the previous quarter of 2018 and up 55 per cent on this time last year. Increased buyer activity has also continued with the number of market appraisals undertaken increasing threefold year on year. 

For the quarter ending 30 September 2018, the average price achieved for properties sold by the firm in the area was £418,809, up from £315,550 for the same period in 2017.

Further positive news relates to the time taken to sell which reduced significantly this quarter compared to last quarter and over the same period in 2017.

A higher percentage of buyers this quarter were Scottish up from 40 per cent last quarter to 65 per cent, with 35 per cent of buyers coming from the rest of the UK compared to 60 per cent last quarter.

Rod Christie, head of residential sales for Galbraith in Moray, said:

“Location sells and properties on the coast, on Speyside and between Elgin and Forres are in high demand. Likewise, well-presented properties in good condition with large gardens or land continue to sell well. A growing trend we are witnessing in Moray is the interest in smallholdings with the number of viewings and applicants registering to buy a house with a field or paddock increasing, as more people are drawn to the area seeking a lifestyle property. 

“A general lack of high-quality housing available to buy is also a contributing factor in driving buyer demand often resulting in a competitive market place. As such we have set an increased number of closing dates throughout the year.

“Houses in good condition and which do not require significant works remain in high demand.  Properties which are in poorer condition may take longer to sell with some buyers hesitant to take on a project, a stark contrast to 10 years ago. Many prospective buyers are young families or elderly retirees so a property in move in condition allows them to enjoy the beautiful offerings of Moray without having to undertake arduous DIY work.”    

Galbraith has a network of eleven offices throughout Scotland, handling residential property sales worth £54 million per quarter. The firm also manages and sells rural estates, farms, smallholdings and land. The Galbraith rural team provide advice on over three million acres of land throughout the country. 

10-YEAR HIGH FOR HOUSE SALES IN DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY

Galbraith also report that the property sector in Dumfries & Galloway is at its most buoyant since 2008, with houses selling faster and an increasing  number of properties selling at a closing date.

The firm sells 130 residential properties per annum in Dumfries & Galloway, on average, with the majority of these in the mid-market or premium price brackets. For the quarter ending 30 September 2018, sales are up by 31 per cent and property viewings are up by 17 per cent compared to the preceding quarter.

David Corrie, who leads the firm’s Castle Douglas office, said: “We are on course to have our busiest year ever for sales from the Castle Douglas office. We are seeing a return to healthy levels of interest in property across the board, with a reduction in the time taken to sell, on average, as long as the property is realistically priced. For the most attractive properties, there is often a good degree of interest from competing buyers and in many cases a closing date is imposed. This strengthening of the market has been building gradually over the past two years.

“Today the average length of time taken to sell a property is back to where it was before the global financial crash of 2008. Although this remains a price-sensitive market, overall the current picture is certainly good news for home owners looking to put their property on the market in the next quarter as there is strong demand and a relatively restricted supply in the region.”

Galbraith’s sales figures for the quarter ending 30 September 2018 show that 80 per cent of properties on their books sold within the quarter and average property prices have remained unchanged over the past two years.

David Corrie continued: “Dumfries & Galloway does not offer rapid house price growth to the extent seen in some parts of Scotland but more important to buyers is the fact that there is a good degree of stability in the property market and the general trend is for modest price rises over a period of years. The lifestyle on offer in Dumfries & Galloway is a major draw for people from all over the UK and there seems to be increasing demand for country cottages and rural property with a small amount of land.

“One property which has attracted a considerable degree of interest is a house dating from the late eighteenth century which requires complete renovation but will make a magnificent country home once the modernisation is complete. That has a relatively affordable guide price and has eight acres of land. A closing date was imposed after just one week on the market due to the number of viewings it attracted. The fastest house sales are typically those which offer the potential to add value, or those which are visually attractive, well-presented and in a desirable location. In all cases, it is worth taking the time to ensure that a property is properly appraised and realistically priced before bringing it to the market.”