Market gains momentum as we brace for post-lockdown surge in rural living

Momentum is building across the Highland property market as Spring approaches after the long winter lockdown.

Last year saw Bell Ingram properties across the Highlands and Islands selling in super-fast time, attracting multiple offers and often achieving 20% or more over the asking price.

Island properties in particular sold like hotcakes, some within 24 hours on the basis of a video tour rather than a physical viewing.

And it wasn’t just traditional homes that were in high demand. Interest in anything with development potential, especially if there was an existing footprint, was off the scale, with decrofted land and croft houses also generating dozens of notes of interest and offers.

Post lockdown #3, we are braced for a similar surge of interest once things return to some sort of normality hopefully around April/May.

Without a doubt Covid has changed the way we live and work, with investment in technology making the Highlands a far more attractive proposition than previously.

The big push to expand rural connectivity, not just in Inverness but throughout the Highlands, means that working from home is much less of a compromise and more of an attractive proposition than ever before.

The promotion of the North Coast 500 has really opened people’s eyes to the attractions of the Highlands with visitors seeing at first hand that there’s infrastructure, facilities and support in place to support not just tourists but those who want to live and work in the Highlands as well.

Attracted by the affordable property prices and the access to a lot more outdoor space, we are talking to people who want to move north and are happy to consider rural locations. These buyers don’t just want holiday homes, they want a permanent move to live, work and be part of the Highland community.

The trend is about the quality of life now and not just about being within an hour’s commute of the office.

With demand outstripping supply in the Highlands and Islands, my advice to potential sellers is to start thinking about marketing your property now and consider those things you can do to prepare your house for sale

We are expecting another surge in the market when lockdown is lifted so if you have all the preparatory work done for your sale you will be in the best position to take advantage of the market opening up fully.

Declutter: Ask yourself what you would look for if you were buying a property. Have a walk round every room and consider whether it is appealing or not.  Declutter, don’t make it clinical and ensure your home still looks like a home and is not stripped of all character.

Kerb appeal: Look at things that could be lifted by a lick of paint, nothing major just something that freshens things up.  Finish any little jobs that have been outstanding for a while.

Look at a Home Report: There is no better way to prepare yourself for the Home Report visit than by looking through someone else’s. Look for number 2s and 3s and what the issues were. Is it something that can be addressed with little expense ie. clearing gutters or touching up paintwork on the windows? It can sometimes be something as simple as this that can mark you down?

Approach an Agent: Contacting an Agent early in the process is a good idea. They can give you guidance on anything that should be done to make your property more appealing to buyers. Establishing that relationship early in the sale process means you can chat any decisions through. Even if you are not ready to push the button just yet, your Agent can then get any pre-marketing work done and banked so you are ready to go when the Home Report is done.

Start planning your next house move by booking a FREE MARKET APPRAISAL by contacting either Joanne or Julie.

Joanne Stennett

Estate Agency
Tel: 01463 717 799

Article posted on 26/02/2021

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