Jennifer Jeffrey, who leads the rural sales team in the Lothians, said:
Over the past three months the market has been as active as I’ve ever seen it. The vast majority of rural properties have either gone to a closing date or have gone under offer within days. Competition between buyers means rural properties are achieving above and beyond the home report value in most cases.
The key driver for the market is the move from urban areas to the countryside. It seems that buyers reassessed their lifestyle during the lockdown and are now prioritising fresh air, open space, and larger properties.
Among the most important requirements for buyers of rural properties now are good broadband, a home office and a large garden for pets or chickens. Properties with land and an annexe for family members are even better.
Galbraith reports that a significant number of enquiries are from buyers currently living in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Relocating to a more rural setting provides a perceived better quality of life and, in many cases, there is a favourable price differential for property in rural areas compared with a desirable postcode in Edinburgh. East Lothian is more expensive on average than Midlothian or West Lothian, but all three are less expensive than the average price in Edinburgh. For the Lothians as a whole, prices are up by 5% on the same quarter in 2019.
One smallholding with several acres of grazing land received 42 competing offers at closing date. Another smallholding went under offer just six days after being brought to the market. Many properties attracted five or more offers from prospective purchasers.
The average price for property sold by Galbraith in the past quarter in the Lothians was £350,000.
Jennifer Jeffrey continued:
Purchasers are keen to secure their dream home as soon as possible and Galbraith has a database of disappointed buyers who have recently lost out at closing dates. These are cash buyers who have already sold their home and are in a position to move, so it’s a great time for sellers to put their house on the market.
Commuting times are less of a consideration currently as home working looks set to continue for longer than was originally predicted. Although good transport links will always attract a wider pool of buyers.
Galbraith has a network of ten offices in Scotland and three in England, handling residential property sales worth £51m per quarter, on average. The firm also manages and sells estates, farms, forestry and land.
Currently under offer with Galbraith at offers over £520,000 is 8 Cauldcoats Holdings, West Lothian.
A three-bedroom detached cottage with two internal stables and an all-weather arena sitting in 3.26 acres of land divided into five paddocks.