William said: "Being involved in the sale of the majority of sporting estates in Scotland last year, we were very reassured by how robust the estate market proved to be, despite the recession. Thus we were somewhat baffled to read recent press reports from another agent claiming the value of Scotland's country estates had halved within the year. My colleague John Bound in Inverness has received calls from concerned landowners however, we have reassured them that this was certainly not our experience. Indeed, we sold all the estates on our portfolio on or around the guide price.
"The reality last year, for our firm, was a lack of enough good estates on the market to meet the demand. It would be absurd to suggest the estates market was completely unaffected by the severe economic downturn. In general, there were fewer buyers but still a sufficient number resulting in competition to buy the few estates that were for sale. We can only surmise that the sale of large rural houses with grounds has been confused with the sale of traditional sporting estate.
"As a firm, we predict a positive year ahead for the sale of Scottish sporting estates and now have a number of people waiting to buy with a total of 175 million to invest."
"In the year ahead, 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 marketing their estates", continued William.
There is a pent up demand both locally and from the International stage and William said demand will be in two principal categories:
- The serious all-round sporting estate that offers everything a premier league place of a type of international interest
- The more modest estate with affordable outgoings within an hour of an airport.
2010 will be a year of opportunity for sellers to obtain realistic prices and for buyers to be offered first class places.