BY JOHN BOUND, PARTNER AND HEAD OF CKD GALBRAITH'S ESTATES DIVISION IN THE HIGHLANDS
Scottish Sporting Estates are still proving to be at a premium in the property market north of the Border with demand still relatively strong despite the economic downturn.
Estates maintained their value throughout 2011 and this sector of the property market has enjoyed a successful year despite the recession with the majority of those sold exceeding their guide price.
As a firm, CKD Galbraith manages over one million acres of sporting estates across Scotland, being particularly strong in the Highlands, Perthshire and the Central Belt, which offer some of the best and unrivalled sporting in the world.
Generally speaking an estate only ever comes on the market once in a generation and this drives interest from both home and abroad with demand outstripping supply. However, despite the high level of foreign interest in the Scottish sporting estate market most buyers this year have been UK based, mainly aged between 40 and 50 and tend to be money men and hedge fund managers who have the capital funds required to invest in an estate.
We continue to handle the majority of sporting estate sales in Scotland, with a large number of these being completed privately as we always have a number of potential buyers on our database seeking a Scottish estate. In 2011 we marketed 14 estates, extending to some 80,000 acres in all. Of these, only 3 are still available.
This year the firm has sold three of the most outstanding sporting estates around, Heights of Kinlochewe, Little Gruinard and Larachantivore, all located in the beautiful county of Wester Ross in the Scottish Highland. These estates all attracted keen interest from home and abroad and sold privately for well over their guide prices.
It's not just the prestige that comes with owning a traditional Scottish sporting estate that drives demand, it's the high quality and source of rich sporting offerings including grouse shooting, deer stalking and salmon fishing that Scotland, and in particular the Highlands, is world renowned for.
Consequently there has also been recent activity this year in the sale and purchase of Scottish grouse estates. This year, grouse shooting alone has experienced one of the most successful seasons in living memory with the benefits to the rural economy being estimated at more than 30 million since the Glorious 12th of August (season officially ended on December 10).
CKD Galbraith are currently marketing Dalmagarry Estate near Tomatin in Inverness-shire, a wonderful and accessible sporting estate with an impressive driven grouse moor averaging 761.5 brace over three years. It also offers 1 miles of salmon fishing on the river Findhorn, both red and roe deer stalking, duck flighting and rough shooting and is for sale at a guide price of 5million.
Also currently on our portfolio is Tournaig Estate in Wester Ross, extending to some 6,625 acres, at a guide price of 2million and offering stalking, excellent trout fishing, a farming enterprise and native woodland schemes.
It's very difficult to predict the outlook for 2012 given the current financial situation and all the concerns in the Eurozone but as a firm we are once again looking forward to an exciting year in the sporting estates market