This increase is in line with a sharp growth in the tourism market in the north of Scotland, which is driving demand for good quality accommodation in the most popular areas, while the changing political and economic climate in the UK is increasing the numbers moving to the area for a better lifestyle.
With spectacular scenery, continued investment in infrastructure and tourist attractions, plus a growing economy, the Highlands is popular with both the residential and tourism markets. Galbraith noted a 43 per cent increase in those registering on the firm’s books as potential purchasers in the region, up from 329 to 471, year on year. The number of property viewings conducted by Galbraith in the Highlands has increased from 167 this time last year to 216 in 2018, an increase of 29 per cent.
The time taken to sell property had reduced by 21 per cent on average, year on year. The quickest sale was completed in just over a month – as is often the case, Galbraith had just sold a property for a couple and were able to alert them to a property near Beauly coming on the market which exactly met their needs.
Phiddy Robertson, who handles residential sales for Galbraith in Inverness, said:
The market has picked up significantly since 2015 and in 2018 the first six months show a steady increase in activity. Demand for well-sited property remains high, with competition leading to more closing dates, most of which achieve significant premiums over the asking price, while there is also greater movement at the top end of the residential market. This links to the average price of property sold from the firm’s Inverness office during the quarter rising to £327,212, up from £284,992 in the previous quarter, a rise of 14.8 per cent.
While prices are rising, the Highland area remains less expensive than many other parts of the UK and we see buyers from all over the country making the move here to enjoy a better quality of life.
The UK government House Price Index for May 2018 noted that the largest regional increase in sales by volume in Scotland was for the Highland region, where volumes increased by 3.9 per cent on the previous year.
Across Scotland as a whole, Galbraith handled £54 million worth of property sales over the preceding quarter.
The Galbraith letting department for Inverness also enjoyed a busy quarter. The number of relets agreed increased by 25 per cent compared with the previous quarter. Viewings also increased by 5 per cent for rental properties in the Highland region over the preceding quarter and the average time taken to find a tenant for a rental property was just six days.
Sarah Hazzard, who manages lettings for Galbraith in Inverness said:
We find that both city-centre properties and well-presented cottages in rural areas are snapped up soon after becoming available. Landlords are able to increase the rents they charge between tenancies due to the very limited supply of rental property in Inverness-shire and the very strong demand from tenants. We offer a full service which takes the hassle away from the owner and gives them peace of mind that we will manage the whole lettings process, ensure the rent is paid, and find the best possible tenant.