A growing number of high-end property investors, including many overseas nationals, are now targeting ‘safe haven’ prime central hotspots in Scotland, boosting activity levels north of the border, helping to ensure that Scotland’s residential property market is now the strongest it has been since 2008.
Savills launched its latest research to more than 500 property professionals at the annual research event held at the EICC yesterday revealing that the number of residential sales in Scotland last year was 9% above the 10-year annual average.
The company said that the Scottish property market attracted more top-end buyers from outside Scotland, fuelled in part by favourable exchange rates.
Andrew Perratt, head of Savills residential sales in Scotland, said: “In times of political and economic uncertainty, high net worth investors are drawn to prime central hotspots which are considered safe investments and good value for money. That is exactly what we are seeing here: interestingly not only is there more investment from outside Scotland in residential property, but also in commercial and rural markets.
“Scotland is being seen as a sensible place to do business and invest in land and property across the sector. Scotland is not depicted by boom and bust but by a healthy functioning market.”
An imbalance between increasing demand and lack of supply in central hotspots is fuelling price growth, which is now filtering through to Scotland’s heartland of Tayside, Stirlingshire and Fife, according to Savills.
Both prices and transactions have recovered in more rural locations where the market is now stable.
Transactions and prices across Scotland increased by 3% and 3.5% respectively in 2016 despite the Brexit vote effect, a drop in mortgage lending and a slowdown in the Aberdeen area.
Faisal Choudhry, Savills head of research, Savills, commented: “Buyer sentiment across the UK market will remain sensitive over the next few years as the process to leave the EU unfolds. However, so far, the market north of the border as been more protected from political vagaries: we anticipate a slowdown in value growth and for realistic pricing to drive a continued recovery in transactions.”