The mar­ket

Shooting Gazette - - The Review - Eve­lyn Chan­ning Direc­tor – Ru­ral Sales, Sav­ills

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est re­search from Sav­ills, con­fi­dence in the Scot­tish es­tate mar­ket is con­tin­u­ing to build in 2017 fol­low­ing the most ac­tive mar­ket in a decade last year.

The mar­ket for es­tates in 2016 saw a to­tal of 26 es­tate sales at a com­bined to­tal ask­ing price of £90m: this in­cluded some sig­nif­i­cant and no­table deals.

We be­lieve terms have been agreed on seven es­tates so far this year, amount­ing to 37,000 acres and an ac­cu­mu­lated ask­ing price of around £45m, in­clud­ing three sport­ing es­tates. We are see­ing over­seas in­ter­est be­ing spurred on by favourable in­ter­est rates fol­low­ing the Brexit vote, as Scot­tish es­tates stand out as ex­cep­tion­ally good value.

This in­ter­est is com­ple­mented by an up­turn in in­ter­est from English buy­ers (in 2016, 62 per cent of buy­ers were from the UK), who no longer have the debate sur­round­ing Scot­tish In­de­pen­dence at the fore­front of their de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cess.

De­spite the lev­els of wealth be­ing in­vested in Scot­tish es­tate prop­er­ties, there is a grow­ing ap­petite for prop­er­ties that can pay for them­selves. This is of­ten through di­ver­si­fied in­come streams, such as sur­plus sport­ing, forestry, re­new­ables, leisure and tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties. We are also find­ing that many buy­ers want to con­cen­trate on sal­mon or grouse, rather than both. This was borne out by the sale of the Suis­gill Es­tate in Suther­land.

Orig­i­nally mar­keted as a whole, those in­ter­ested in the fish­ing were de­terred by the sig­nif­i­cant value of the stalk­ing and vice versa. Once we split the es­tate into two lots, in­ter­est lev­els in­creased – al­beit that it did in fact sell as a whole to one buyer, re­tain­ing the in­tegrity of the es­tate.

To­day, many buy­ers of sport­ing es­tates have not ac­tively been look­ing but recog­nise an op­por­tu­nity when they see one. This has had an ef­fect on the way es­tates are mar­keted, as his­tor­i­cally many at the up­per end were sold pri­vately.

Set­ting the right price is es­sen­tial; demon­strat­ing value for money can gen­er­ate com­pe­ti­tion. Quite of­ten buy­ers who aren’t in­ter­ested when an es­tate is of­fered pri­vately be­come keen when it is pub­licly mar­keted. Two-thirds of the deals struck for sport­ing es­tates so far this year have been agreed on a pri­vate ba­sis.

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