At the 2010 Spring Briefing, William Jackson gave a review of the Sporting Estates Market and predictions for the up coming year. The following text gives a summary of the talk.
Basically, the Scottish estate is a trophy' type of product, available to the International market, but only in a highly limited supply. The fact is that a Scottish estate is not a generic product. Each marketed property is unique, and whilst the ingredients such as stalking, pheasant shooting, the lodge and location may have common traits, the mix inevitably produces something unique. It is this uniqueness that makes it, on the one hand so special, but on the other so difficult to evaluate.
A couple of weeks ago I read in the papers that an agent, I have to say a rival agent, had indicated the values of Scottish estates had halved in one year. One can produce statistics to prove anything, but my belief is that such an assertion is nonsense. Firstly, we must compare apples with apples' and secondly, one needs a degree of quantum to establish a sensible trend.
My prediction for this forthcoming year is that the supply of good quality all round estates' is likely to increase. Two years ago the market froze. I believe last year saw one or two places transacted at fair, rather than reduced values and my prediction is that one or two vendors who have perhaps held off will now sensibly consider the marketing of their estates. Looking ahead, in say a five year time cycle, this forthcoming year, the election year, is probably one of the best to consider. There is a pent up demand, both locally and from the International stage. We have applicants with a total of over 175 million to spend. Whilst I wouldn't say there is a feel good factor', if you are lucky enough to hold cash, and quite a lot are, there are limited money making exercises in front of you.
I believe, however, that the demand will be formed in two principal categories:
- Firstly, for the serious all-round sporting estate that offers everything a premier league place of a type of International interest and;
- Secondly, and perhaps more interestingly the more modest estate with affordable outgoings within an hour of an airport.
In conclusion, I see 2010 as a year of opportunity for sellers to obtain realistic prices and for buyers to be offered first class places.