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The property market in the north of Scotland is showing healthy signs.

Leading independent property consultancy Galbraith, has published its summary of Aberdeenshire and Inverness-shire property sales for the final quarter of 2017.

The firm reports a significant increase in sales for the quarter and it is apparent that demand from local buyers is underpinning the vast majority of activity. Indeed, 96% of property sales recorded in the Aberdeen office in the final three months of 2017 were made to buyers from Aberdeenshire.

And in its report for Q4 of 2017, Inverness-shire was showing a positive increase in performance compared with the same quarter of 2016.

Galbraith reports good sales in the final quarter of 2017 in Aberdeenshire

There was an increase of 8% in properties sold in the period, with an average price of £345,609. Property viewings increased by 49% year on year, and new buyer registrations were up by 29%. Buyers from England and overseas continued to be active in the market, with 31% of buyers originating from outwith Scotland.

In Aberdeenshire, property sales in the region rose by 47% in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter in the preceding year. Viewings of property also rose, from 56 to 69, a year-on-year increase of 23%.

The average price of properties sold by Galbraith in Aberdeenshire during the period was £477,799.

Hannah Christiansen, head of the estate agency team in Aberdeen said: ‘The final quarter of 2017 was very positive. Year-on-year property sales have been recovering steadily following the downturn of the Aberdeen property market in 2015.

‘The properties which are very much in demand are suburban and country properties in good condition, especially if they have land or paddocks. These are often selling quite quickly – another sign of returning confidence.

‘Deeside and Donside are perennial favourites and we find that properties in these areas usually attract a significant amount of interest.

‘Royal Deeside has been well known to visitors since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert purchased a holiday home here 1852 and it remains in demand as a place to visit and a place to live.

‘Donside is a destination for those who appreciate spectacular unspoilt scenery, wonderful walking routes and historic connections and again is in demand as a lifestyle choice.

‘We expect 2018 transactions to continue in much the same vein. Property viewings have been very busy in recent weeks and we recently accepted an offer on a lovely house within two weeks of it going on the market. The critical aspect of achieving a sale is to ensure the property is priced correctly.’

Galbraith reported an slight increase in sales in the last quarter of 2017, compared to the previous years

Phiddy Robertson, head of residential sales at the firm’s Inverness office, added: ‘We are encouraged to see the fourth quarter of 2017 showed a slight increase in our sales, compared with the previous year.

‘Well sited, good quality property in a desirable location tends to sell fairly quickly, particularly within a 15 – 20-mile radius of Inverness and in scenic coastal areas such as Gairloch, Achiltibuie and Torridon.

‘The success of the North Coast 500 initiative has increased the profile of this region and Galbraith is delighted to have an exclusive arrangement as the only property consultancy listed on their web site.

‘Our social media presence continues to play a very important part in our marketing strategy. One cottage in the Black Isle had a very high level of engagement, including comments, likes and direct messages within an hour of going on Facebook and such interest often leads to viewings and even directly to sales.

‘The outlook for 2018 is generally positive and with continued investment in the Highlands and a higher area profile, we expect to see steady demand, particularly for properties priced up to £500,000.’

Galbraith also offers lettings services in several regions of Scotland. In Inverness and Elgin the number of properties let by the firm more than doubled in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with the fourth quarter of 2016.

Sarah Hazzard who manages lettings for Inverness-shire and Elgin, added: ‘Demand for rental properties is very strong across the region. In Moray there is a healthy market for properties within easy reach of Elgin.

‘Tenants are seeking well-presented properties which don’t need to be refurbished and are in a convenient location and properties of this type let very quickly after we advertise them.’

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