Particular highlights of the year include:
- Our commercial division has 250 million of property under management and sold over 25m of property in the last month alone
- Our rural division now manages over two million acres of land and achieved 78 million in sales and purchases over the year, an increase of 46 per cent
- We now manage 250,000 acres of commercial and native woodland, making our forestry department one of the most successful in Scotland
- Our building surveying department has undertaken 35 new projects over the past year, a significant uplift on the previous year with demand continuing to rise for residential and commercial project expertise
- Residential property sales have climbed to 46.5 million in 2003, an increase of 25 per cent, reflecting CKD Galbraith's increasing market penetration
- Cottages & Castles, our holiday lettings business, has increased its portfolio of properties by 30 per cent and has achieved higher occupancy rates and revenues for our clients.
- Our Sporting agency has had one of the most successful years in its history and is now the UK's leading sporting agency specialising in Scotland and Ireland
- Renewables and utilities surveying are a potent mix and are in increasing demand.
What a difference a year makes
Over the past year we have seen the initial impact of parts of the Agricultural Holdings Act, the Land Reform Act and CAP reform proposals in Scotland. Against this, it has been a year of soaring residential house prices in many rural areas. In the commercial property sector, new legislation has included the opening up of planning laws on out of town developments and the Inland Revenue's new fiscal environment embracing Real Estate Investment Trusts and pooled property investment.
It has certainly been an eventful year, and we are delighted to have been able to work with our clients to take the opportunities such a fast-changing environment presents. We all have to make our own success.
I am grateful to all our clients for their continued confidence in the firm, and I look forward to celebrating many happy returns!