Bell Ingram Predict Steady Growth in Property Market in the Highlands

by Vickie Henry

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Joanne Stennett Bell Ingram Edinburgh PR ClientAn Inverness based land and estate agent has predicted a slow but steady improvement in the local property market for 2015, despite acknowledging a list of influencing factors that are likely to take place.

Bell Ingram, who have offices based in Oban, Inverness and Perth, saw the market slow down significantly in the lead up to the referendum in September, but has since seen a steady increase in the number of properties making their way onto the market – and this trend has continued in the first weeks of 2015.

The leading land agent has said that the common occurrence of closing dates in the latter half of 2014, along with more people willing to put their property on the market post-referendum has made for a promising start to the New Year.

However, the company has warned that various influencing factors, such as the new Stamp Duty – due to take effect on 1st April – and the General Election in May could have a destabilising effect on property market for the Inverness area.

Furthermore, the leading land agent believes that uncertainty lies with rural areas for 2015 as some general land and agricultural holding reforms are expected and the CAP payment rules are yet been finalised.

Joanne Stennett, Estate Agent at Bell Ingram, said: “We do not expect a boom in 2015, but rather a steady increase that is similar to one we have seen every year since 2007.

Although it is fair to say that the referendum had a dampening effect on the property market for our area, we do believe that this will result in a busier market in 2015 as deferred sales follow through and more closing dates occur – as they did towards the end of 2014.

“An obvious concern for many is the changes made to Stamp Duty, which is likely to have a negative impact on properties over £335,000 if there is no further refinement of the tax on property over the period ahead.

And of course, for rural areas, it’s important we take into consideration the impact of CAP delays, which are more than likely to disrupt the market.”

The leading land manager does believe that the market could become stifled further if owners who purchased in the ‘boom years’ do not lower expectations on sale prices.

Joanne continued: “The market is likely to see problems if sellers who bought in the boom years are unwilling to sell their property at a loss, which can lead to properties remaining vacant.

At the moment, bank finance for purchasers is becoming more settled which is encouraging. However, borrowing for self builds, a potentially key aspect of the local economy, is complicated due to the difficulty of obtaining loans.”

Bell Ingram further acknowledges that the General Election, which is due to take place in May, could disrupt a usually busy month for the land agent.

Joanne said: “Like the referendum, the General Election may encourage those thinking of buying and selling to hold off until after the vote to see what happens.

May is usually a prime selling month; however, with the General Election this year, we may see a dip in the market as a result of it.”

Despite these factors, the land agent remains cautiously optimistic that the promising start to 2015 is a sign of things to come for the Highland’s property market.

Established in 1899, Bell Ingram is a multi disciplined firm of chartered surveyors, forestry managers, estate agents, architects, building surveyors and energy specialists. With more than 130 professional staff across 11 UK offices the firm provides local knowledge with national coverage.

To find out more about the range of services Bell Ingram offer visit www.bellingram.co.uk.

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Junior account executive at Scottish PR agency Holyrood Partnership

Private: Vickie Henry

Vickie Henry is a part of the expert PR team at the award-winning Holyrood Partnership, public relations agency in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The PR agency works with businesses across Scotland.
As well as providing media relations, crisis communications, Holyrood Partnership also offers PR photography, affordable video for businesses, social media services and strategic content delivery for businesses.

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