The firm, which has roots stretching back 250 years, sold estates with a value in excess of £35m in the past 12 months and reports rising demand from buyers whether they are local, national or international. The market remains elevated by purchasers interested in the natural capital potential of an estate, in addition to the traditional lifestyle and sporting buyers.
Emma Chalmers, a partner with Galbraith based in the firm’s Perth office, said: “Demand from a wide range of buyers with different motivations has expanded the market in recent years and this growing interest is from parties based both at home in the UK and abroad. While there are still those buyers primarily motivated by a better quality of life and country sports, there are many who are interested in the natural capital opportunities from the landholding and also others who are interested in developing a rural business from the estate such as a tourism destination, a niche product, or a conservation orientated venture.”
“The key advantages of the Scottish estate are it offers scale, a rural location, quite often an historical aspect and generally a great opportunity to mould the property to one’s own goals, interests and outcomes. Interests are wide and varying from the traditional sporting and farming uses to opening a micro-brewery or craft gin distillery to conservation and biodiversity outcomes through woodland and hedgerow planting, peatland restoration, or water margin management. Not to mention the tourism concepts of holiday houses, wedding venues, a location for bespoke courses such as wildlife photography, art or others.”
Of the estates sold by Galbraith in 2022, Finegand Estate, which extends to over 3,500 acres, with seven houses, outbuildings, lochan and an iconic setting in Highland Perthshire was priced at offers over £5,000,000 and sold within three months. Finegand will continue to be run as a traditional estate.
Pluscarden Estate situated in the highly scenic and milder climes of Moray is a 1,500-acre estate centred on a contemporary country house with walled garden, two cottages and both farming and forestry interests, was brought to the market in the summer of 2022 at offers over £7,000,000 and also sold to a traditional buyer, following a closing date.
Two other estates, Clounlaid & Crosben, and Be-ach, both on the West Coast of Scotland and extending to a total of 7,000 acres priced at offers over £3.6m, sold to a single buyer following a closing date.
Emma Chalmers continued: “Compared with a couple of years ago, when the strongest focus was all about natural capital, the market has, as always happens in the property market, evolved again and there are just as many of the traditional buyers focused on sporting, fishing and amenity, as those interested in peatland restoration projects, or woodland creation. Scotland is a unique destination, world renowned for its exceptional beauty , natural surroundings and the feeling of complete seclusion and escape whilst most areas are relatively accessible by road or an airport. As always, demand is significantly outstripping supply.”