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Borders Property Market Surges as Demand for Rural Homes Soars

Property consultancy Galbraith reports that the soaring demand for rural homes has led to a boom in activity in the Scottish Borders, with higher average selling prices and faster sales compared with this quarter in 2019.

Alex Inglis, head of sales in the Scottish Borders, said:

Scotland’s housing market reopened three months ago and there was an immediate rebound in transactions to satisfy pent-up demand. This upward trend has continued and over 50% of properties in the Scottish Borders are now being sold at a closing date with multiple offers being submitted in excess of the asking price.

The past quarter has proved to be exceptionally active, with sales being achieved in a shorter time frame than at this time last year - 81% of properties we launched to the market since lockdown have now sold. In addition, average selling prices are higher, with most achieving in excess of the Home Report valuation due to increased competition between buyers.

The main driver for the market is the increased interest in rural living. Due to the prevalence of working from home, a higher proportion of buyers are considering more rural locations as the daily commute is less of a factor.

 Polly Cregan of Galbraith in the Scottish Borders said:

The Scottish Borders appeals to buyers for its charming traditional towns, rolling countryside and beautiful unspoilt coastline, with some notable property hot spots including in and around Kelso and Melrose. The desire for privacy, space, and a garden have become more important this year, which further fuels the desire for a rural home.

Galbraith reports that the most sought-after properties are traditional rural cottages with a private garden or attractive views. These are selling in some cases within a few days of being launched to the market. The fastest sale this quarter was a single storey property which received a good offer within 24 hours. Large family homes with a few acres of land and a home office are also very popular.

The current exemption on Land & Buildings Transaction Tax up to £250,000 has helped to increase demand and one property recently sold at a closing date for 26% above the ‘offers over’ price. 

 Polly Cregan continued:

The property market is proving resilient and we expect this to continue over the next quarter, despite the wider economic uncertainty.

Galbraith, which has ten offices in Scotland and three in the North of England, handles residential property valued at £51.7m on average per quarter.

Image 1: The Cart House, Ednam, is currently for sale through Galbraith for a guide price of £525,000

Image 2: 9 Upper Nisbet Farm Cottages sold at a closing date after 10 days on the market