Inverness property market gets a welcome boost through social media

The Highlands and Islands property market is going strong – and been boosted further by social media.

The Inverness-shire property market is in a good condition, according to figures compiled by Scotland’s leading independent property consultancy, Galbraith.

For the quarter ending 30 September 2017, sales of properties handled by the firm’s Inverness office are up by 50 per cent on the preceding quarter.

The number of potential buyers registered with the firm in the Highlands and property viewings have also increased by more than 50 per cent in comparison to the same period last year.

John Bound, a partner in the agency division in Inverness for Galbraith, said: ‘The market is performing reasonably well. Family homes priced around £250,000 – £500,000 are selling fairly quickly, particularly those within easy reach of Inverness.

‘We have sold several properties which received a number of competing offers and therefore went to a closing date. For property priced above £500,000 however, the market can be a bit slower, though we have had some good results this year including a property on Skye that we sold recently for in excess of £1 million.’

Smithy Cottage and The Old Smithy

John added that the Land and Buildings Transactions Tax (LBTT), introduced by the Scottish Government in April 2015 continues to have a negative impact on the higher end of the market.

Phiddy Robertson, a Galbraith associate in the Inverness office said: ‘This quarter we have seen a very significant increase in the number of new buyers registering for property information.

‘The firm has 30,000 followers on social media across our network of offices and this figure is continuing to grow every quarter for Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

‘For the first time we have seen a significant correlation between social media hits and viewing requests. This is particularly the case for unusual properties, or where we have created a feature on social media showcasing a topic of interest – for example, the most beautiful kitchens among our properties for sale during the Great British Bake-Off series.’

The Galbraith property lettings department in the Highlands also enjoyed a successful quarter. Agreed lets rose by 25 per cent compared with the previous quarter. The average time taken to find a tenant for a property in the region is just 24 days.

The Scottish Government will introduce its new code of practice and mandatory register for letting agents from 31 January 2018 to improve standards within the sector.

Ach An Darach, Kiltarlity, on sale with Galbraith in Inverness

Key individuals within a lettings agency must meet a minimum level of training and have the adequate qualifications by September 2018, otherwise they will not be able to continue letting properties. It is therefore advisable to choose a lettings agency that fully complies with the new legislation before it comes into force at the start of next year. Galbraith already has letting agents qualified to the highest level.

Currently on the market with Galbraith in Inverness are the following properties:

Smithy Cottage and The Old Smithy, Invermoriston. Offers Over £400,000
Smith Cottage and The Old Smithy are situated in a spectacular setting above the River Moriston in the Great Glen. Smithy Cottage is a comfortable family home which was modernised in 2004 but retains much of its original character. The Old Smithy was extended and converted in 2009 and is currently a successful holiday let.

Ach an Darach, near Kiltarlity. Offers over £635,000
A stunning contemporary home with five bedrooms, three reception rooms, extremely high-end interior finishes and energy efficient features. The property has about 4.87 hectares of land, some used for arable and rough grazing. Lovely views over Strathglass and Ben Wyvis.