The key motivations to buy in the region, such as lifestyle factors and the desire for more space, underpin continued activity in the traditionally quiet winter months.
Phiddy Robertson, who leads the Galbraith agency team for Inverness and the Highland region, said:
“The pandemic brought with it a rural property boom, facilitated by an acceptance of new working practices, and driven by low stock availability and a desire from many to move away from densely populated areas. Though the impact of the rise in the cost of living along with recent economic and political uncertainty has caused a levelling off in this rise, the new attitudes to lifestyle prevail and the evidence is that good quality property will continue to perform well.
“The overall number of viewings is down, but those now looking to buy, both left over from last year and new to the market, are genuine purchasers making the whole process less stressful and time consuming for sellers. In addition, as the frenetic activity of last year lessens, mortgages are being approved more quickly and solicitors are able to complete the conveyancing process sooner: however committed the buyer and seller, unnecessary delays to the conclusion of missives or exchange of contracts erodes confidence and for no good reason a sale can founder. We are pleased therefore to see the process of completing transactions working well and access to finance easing.”
Galbraith further reports that the traditional patterns of activity in the property market – with sustained transactions from April to October and a slowdown in the winter months – are gradually changing, and as marketing media and communications become ever-more advanced, a 12-month market is becoming the norm.
Recent sales that demonstrate the strength of demand in the Highland housing market include:
- Rockybank, Inveralligin near Achnasheen, on the market for offers over £265,000 – a traditional cottage in need of renovation that was marked ‘under offer’ just two weeks after launch. The property has uninterrupted views over Loch Torridon and mountains beyond.
- Lochbay House, Isle of Skye; marketed for offers over £600,000 – a stunning ‘C’ listed coastal property with 4 bedrooms, the sale of this property completed in December after considerable interest. Skye is one of the most popular destinations in Scotland, due to the beauty of its landscape, its vibrant culture and wealth of outdoor pursuits.
- Primrose Cottage in Aultbea, Wester Ross, which was marketed for offers over £240,000 – the sale was agreed in four weeks. The cottage is in a delightful setting, overlooking Loch Ewe and with stunning views over the water, island and mountains on the far shore.