Scottish estates attract global buyer interest

Many International businessmen, with a passion for beautiful houses, country sports and the great outdoors have an estate in Scotland at the top of their Christmas wish lists, according to property firm Savills.

The total value of Scottish estates traded this year is in excess of £54m, considerably more than the £46m spent on purchases during the whole of 2012. There have been varying price tags for the estates traded, with one selling for almost £20m, two between £8m and £10m, and the remainder for £6m or less.

According to Propertywire.com, in reality such an aspiration will only be within the reach of a privileged few who have funds available, not only to buy the property of their dreams, but the means to maintain and run it.

Evelyn Channing of Savills, said in the past 12 months the majority of viewers have been international businessmen running large organisations, carrying with them all the stress and time pressures that involves.

Almost without exception those contemplating purchasing a highland estate have been attracted by the range of sport on offer. This is in contrast to the typical buyer of 10 years ago, who bought an estate to enjoy the fruits of their labour full time in retirement.

“The market for sporting estates is now dominated by high net worth individuals seeking good quality sport in beautiful surroundings, away from the incessant demands of business life. All of this can be found from deep within the grouse butt. Quick and easy access from and back to the business world, and privacy is high on the list of requirements,” said Channing.

However, the choice is limited, with only a handful of sporting estates coming to the market each year. But Channing pointed out that this rarefied sector has not been subjected to the late economic turmoil, although the effects of the poor residential market for prime country houses has undoubtedly had a knock on effect on residential estate assets.

Purchasers continue to be exceedingly selective and, reflecting the current style of buyer, estates will often remain on the market for an extended period of time to allow potential  buyers time to reschedule their diaries to create the necessary window to view.

She added that the best will always attract interest, irrespective of economic conditions or political considerations, because owning a fine Scottish sporting estate is often a lifetime ambition rather than a business decision.

The impending referendum on independence in September next year does not appear to have made a significant difference to the market.

“While we have spoken to a handful of buyers who are putting their search on hold until the outcome is known, the majority still view Scotland as a relatively safe haven for their money,” said Channing.

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