July property update – increasing activity

wester aldie farm

Reshaping lifestyle property market showing positive signs

As lockdown eases, Rural Surveyors Davidson & Robertson has already seen increased activity in the property market – both for sales and lettings. It’s still early days to prove the theory that lifestyle property will be in greater demand, but current signs are promising.

Life during lockdown: coping with Covid-19

Off Market sales  – during lockdown, private deals have still been completed and we’ve seen more off-market activity for land, with private deals progressed between neighbours.  There is still strong demand for agricultural land – led by progressive farm businesses taking local opportunities and off market sales continue to be robust.

George Hipwell, Director at D&R said “The lockdown, aided by digital technology, led some to reconsider their lifestyle and future property ambitions. Now lockdown has eased, we’ve seen a swell of registrations and activity, with over 50% increase in enquiries for lifestyle property to buy and rent.

“Pent up demand for viewings means people are eager to move forward and are decisive and quick to act. Rural property with some land has the greatest level of enquiries, with strong interest from south of the border.”

Property sales:

Burnfoothill near Lockerby is a case in point.  Extending to around 120 acres with a 3-bedroom farmhouse, this property is appealing to those looking for the first rung on the rural property ladder or as a starter farm.

Lined up to go on the market in later June, 50% of the viewings came from the preliminary notice. It went on the market 26th June with huge interest resulting in an early closing date 28th July. We’ve seen equal interest in the property as a whole and in lots.  Around a third of the enquiries came from buyers south of the border – from as far away as Devon.

New to market:

Wester Aldie Farm in Kinross-shire is the newest property to market. A highly productive mixed farming unit extending to about 267 acres. Secluded, yet within commuting distance of Perth, Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow, it has a fully refurbished modern 4-bedroom family farmhouse. The farm offers development opportunities with planning consent granted for the construction of a new 5-bedroom house.  We are already hearing from a wide range of potential buyers.

Belsyde House & Farm near Linlithgow is a stunning country property suited to both equestrian and lifestyle buyers with commuting links to Edinburgh and Glasgow. Comprising an 8-bedroom B-Listed house, with an additional 1-bedroom annex. it has traditional stone outbuildings and modern steading with agricultural land and woodland totalling 93 acres. Again, we are seeing interest in the property as a whole and in lots.

Broughton Knowe near Biggar is a country property that appeals to equestrian and lifestyle buyers, with about  13.79 acres land.

Residential development opportunity: 2.86 acres with Minded to Grant status for 15 semi-rural development units – commuting distance of Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Residential-development

Covid-19 property tax holidays

Announced on 9th July, the temporary tax discount on lower value lifestyle residential properties either side of the border could help property sale in the short term.  Stamp Duty (England) is 0% up to £500K, and Land and Business Transaction Tax (LBTT) in Scotland is 0% up to £250K. Although not massive, it will benefit lower priced residential properties.   Once legislation is passed, around 8 in 10 house buyers in Scotland will not pay LBTT. The benefits are greater and immediate in England.

In summary, the key characteristics buyers and sellers of rural lifestyle properties now consider include:

  • Connectivity: internet speeds, mobile phone reception
  • Office space: accommodation that provides an office without compromising bedrooms or living space. If not possible, are there opportunities to convert outbuildings or space for an outdoor office
  • Outdoor space: garden space for raised beds, greenhouse, orchard, entertaining and relaxing
  • Land: possibility to have a pony paddock and stables, hens, or sheep
  • Buildings: opportunity to repurpose old buildings for personal use or ability to convert, subject to obtaining necessary consents, to generate a second income

Rental market:

The rental market is very competitive for lifestyle properties. Renting a rural home is appealing to those looking for a change in lifestyle with flexibility and without the costs of buying. New to market is 2 Newlandrig – a four-bedroom home with a good-sized garden, outbuildings and paddock, newly available to rent £1750pcm. Gorbridge 4-bedroom house with land and buildings

Forestry and woodland sales:

Land sold for tree planting continued to achieve strong results in early 2020 and D&R concluded sales achieved values in the region of £1,500 –  £2,000+ per acre.

Demand for land with planting potential is still strong, and the opportunity to trade your carbon units is likely to maintain keen interest. (New woodland planting projects are eligible if they register under the  Woodland Carbon Code.  Carbon trading market is buoyant, in the region of £5-15/tCO2e as companies see carbon trading as a way of compensating for environmental loss.)

New land to market – land with planting potential in Dumfries & Galloway:

  • Land with afforestation potential – Castle Douglas around 200 acres
  • Land-with afforestation potential – Mosspark, Sorbie – Newton Stewart – around 115 acres

Concluding, George Hipwell said “Last year, we saw offers averaging 28% over asking price for all properties sold. At the start of 2020, demand for lifestyle property in Scotland’s central commuter belt continued to be strong. What we are now seeing is evidence that properties further afield, with some land, good road links and digital connectivity are in demand too.

“With a glimpse of life working from home, there are greater prospects for lifestyle property transactions across Scotland and Northern England.”

George Hipwell is a Director and heads up Sales and Agency work at Davidson & Robertson. Call 0131 449 6212


1.    Wester Aldie Farm a secluded yet well-connected attractive farm. A highly productive mixed farming unit extending to about 267 acres in total, within commuting distance of Perth, Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Fully refurbished modern 4 bedroomed family PLUS development opportunities with planning consent granted for the construction of a new 5-bedroom house.

2.  Belsyde House & Farm, Linlithgow Belsyde House & Farm is a stunning country property comprising an 8 bedroom B-Listed house, constructed in 1788, with an additional 1 bedroom annex known as the West Wing, traditional stone outbuildings and modern steading, agricultural land extending to approximately 73.37 acres (29.69 ha) and amenity woodland extending to 19.63 acres (7.94 ha) in all.

3.  Burnfoothill Farm, Eaglesfield, Lockerbie, extending to around 120acres including 3-bedroom farmhouse & steading. Excellent access to M74. On market 26th June. Strong demand led to early closing date 28th July.


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