Galbraith, which specialises in rural property, reported an increase in sales of 20 per cent for Scotland as a whole during 2020 compared with 2019, with the Lothians showing particularly strong demand. Offers of 25 per cent above the asking price, in some cases higher, have been accepted for properties in a good location. Competition between buyers means a proportion of properties are marked ‘under offer’ without any formal marketing.
Rebecca March of Galbraith believes lifestyle factors are underpinning the strong demand:
Demand for rural and semi-rural property has grown very significantly over the past year, with offers significantly above the asking price put forward for the most attractive properties. East Lothian in particular has enjoyed a ten-year high in market activity.
The strong demand has been fuelled by customers’ changing priorities in the wake of the pandemic. A higher proportion of buyers are seeking a better work-life balance and opportunities for an outdoor lifestyle, which makes the Lothians particularly attractive.
Galbraith reports that the average time taken to mark a property ‘under offer’ in the Lothians is 21 days. House prices in East Lothian have reached an average of £289,636 while the average price in Midlothian is £238,629.
Rebecca March continued:
“The historic towns of the region offer beautiful period townhouses and traditional sandstone villas. There is a thriving restaurant scene – Tom Kitchin’s Michelin-starred Bonnie Badger in Gullane is hugely popular. The region has a wealth of varied scenery and wonderful outdoor spaces to explore, from award-winning beaches at Gullane and North Berwick to beautiful walking routes such as the John Muir Way and the clifftop walk at Dunbar. To the south, the Lammermuirs are a wonderful asset for walking and bird watching, offering a feeling of remoteness while still being very well connected. The region also benefits from easy access to Edinburgh and the central belt.”
Among the most sought-after properties are village cottages with the potential to extend and equestrian properties.
Rebecca March continued:
“There is sustained interest in equestrian property and competition between buyers for those that offer a good balance of facilities, location and ease of access. Equestrian property valuations should take into account the specifics of the facilities on offer and other factors, such as direct access to good hacking routes. We know the market and have developed a significant market share in equestrian property.”
Galbraith handles residential property sales of £51m per quarter on average in Scotland and the north of England.