Ex-pat Brexit Bounce on the West Coast of Scotland

The EU referendum result is providing an unexpected boost to the property market on the west coast of Scotland, according to a local land and estate expert.

In recent months, Oban-based Bell Ingram has seen a significant rise in enquiries from British ex-pats seeking to return to the UK, and particularly those looking to move to Argyll and the Isles.

Will Banham, of Bell Ingram’s Oban office, said while there has always been prominent international interest in property available throughout the Highlands and Islands, the Brexit vote has caused a noticeable increase in demand.

Will said: “We’ve been surprised by such a marked jump in international enquiries, particularly for Island properties.

“Recently, we’ve had ex-pats in France, Portugal, The Canaries and Denmark get in touch. The Isle of Mull in particular seems to be of real interest to these buyers.”

Factors driving the trend appear to include perceived value for money and the possibility of Scotland retaining a closer relationship with the EU post-Brexit than the balance of the UK.

In what has been a turbulent year for the Scottish property market, the new 3% premium in LBTT (land and buildings transaction tax) for second homes, the EU referendum and the possibility of a second independence referendum have all had competing impacts on market demand.

Will Banham continued: “The English retirement market has unexpectedly strengthened following the Brexit vote with many retirees looking to move to the west coast sooner rather than later.

“This has counterbalanced the reduction in demand for holiday homes or for young families looking to get out of the rat race.

“Typically, we now have an older buyer profile looking for properties with manageable gardens and good views. For the first time in many years, big plots and acreage can actively discourage buyers.”

Established 117 years ago, Bell Ingram has 130 professional staff across 11 UK offices including: farm, estate and forestry managers; chartered surveyors, estate agents, architects, planners, and building surveyors; and tourism, GIS mapping, and renewable energy specialists.

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Published on 14th October 2016