Research article

Country locations in Scotland are climbing up

Prime transactional performance is now exceeding city locations, driven by realistic pricing

Country locations of Scotland include the heartland of Fife, Perthshire and Stirlingshire, as well as the Highlands, Argyll & Bute and the southern counties of Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders. The prime country market continues to grow, enabled by realistic pricing and good value compared to city and urban properties.

Scotland’s heartland is now the third largest prime market outside Edinburgh and Greater Glasgow. Whereas the markets in Perthshire and Stirlingshire remained steady last year, prime transactions in Fife reached 202 last year compared to 170 in 2017. Key to this growth was the hotspot of St Andrews, where the prime market as a percentage of Fife as a whole grew from 36% in 2017 to 45% in 2018. Other notable locations in Fife where the prime market increased included the coastal locations of Aberdour and Dalgety Bay.

The heartland of Fife, Perthshire and Stirlingshire is now Scotland’s third largest prime market outside Edinburgh and Greater Glasgow

Savills Research

Top performer

Argyll & Bute was the top performing country location last year in terms of prime transactional growth, attracting lifestyle buyers, many of which came from outside Scotland. The number of transactions above £400,000 increased from 54 in 2017 to a record 77 in 2018, led by Helensburgh and Oban. Below this level, the Argyll & Bute market saw improved activity in Dunoon and Lochgilphead.

In the south of Scotland, improved activity in Peebles and Melrose boosted the prime market in the Scottish Borders, where transactions above £400,000 increased from 128 in 2017 to 144 in 2018. The prime markets in the Highlands and Ayrshire, including the hotspots of Ayr and Troon remained steady. Dumfries & Galloway was one of a few parts of Scotland that witnessed a rise in transactions during 2018 as a whole. This area had its strongest prime transactional market since 2010, with 37 taking place in 2018. In contrast to previous years, prime activity in 2018 reached into higher price bands, mainly taking place in Dumfries town and its surrounding area.

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