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Continued Demand In Rural Property Sector Should Ensure Swift Rebound

Scotland’s rural property market will bounce back as soon as the lockdown ends due to significant pent-up demand.

Agents for the firm have continued to help buyers and sellers to finalise transactions which were already in progress and looking ahead have been preparing their homes for sale, with both sides keen to restart the process as soon as they are able.

Duncan Barrie, a partner with Galbraith based in Stirling and Edinburgh said:

The government issued official guidance on March 26 advising people in the early stages of buying or selling their home to delay the transaction while emergency measures were in place. However there are now positive signs that the movement restrictions may potentially be softened towards Mid-May or early June for at least some business sectors. Although a great deal of uncertainty remains, we anticipate the more rural property market is likely to rebound positively. The number of new instructions waiting to sell is equal to the level that would be expected at this time of year.

At the beginning of the year we experienced a healthy demand for rural property, and this continued until agency activity was put on hold at the start of the lockdown period. It is clear from ongoing conversations with the majority of both buyers and sellers over the last month, that they want to continue as planned as soon as they can, whether they are midway through the process of a sale or at the very start of house hunting. In the meantime, there is much that we can do now to get the ball rolling and to ensure that interested parties can hit the ground running once the market starts to open up.

For purchasers, virtual viewings of dwellings have in some instances proved a useful tool and for many properties, videos are created for use online. For sellers, agents can advise on how best to prepare a property for sale, both in terms of the administrative processes that can be initiated during this time and the maintenance jobs that should be undertaken at the property to ensure it is looking its best before formal marketing begins.

Duncan Barrie continued:

During lockdown three of our offices have managed to run five successful closing dates covering property in Central Scotland, Edinburgh, Angus and the Scottish Borders, with the firm having a further 14 sales completed, nine under offer and over 15 new properties launched in the last couple of weeks, a demonstration of the continued demand within the market.

In relation to the farm and farmland market, at present the level of interest appears relatively unaffected, with farmland now seen as a potential safe haven when compared to the current turmoil within the stocks, shares and other asset classes. We are aware of buyers being keen to take advantage of even lower interest rates in relation to their purchase of farmland.

Success during lock down include sales of Ballygreggan Farm by Campbeltown, Portencalzie by Stranraer, and Langdale by Girvan. Whilst successful closing dates have been held for Old Kirk Farm by Alexandria and East Tarbrax Farm by Shotts.

 

In general the demand from potential purchasers for rural property has in some areas of the country exceeded the same period in 2019, with a larger number of new buyers registering to receive updates, for property across Scotland and Northern England.

In the past week, four of the UK’s major mortgage lenders have announced more generous terms for borrowers, including an extension in their loan-to-value ratios, reduced mortgage fees or an increase in the maximum loan offered. This will further boost the property market, Galbraith believes.