LOCKDOWN hasn’t been all doom and gloom for one south-west property firm.

Threave Rural has reported that – although the year so far has been far from ‘normal’ – it had been able to make the best of the situation and continue trading.

The company, that describes itself as ‘a one stop shop’ for all rural matters, has been trading throughout lockdown and is confident that it can continue providing the sort of service their customers are used to as things move forward.

“In a way, we were lucky that, when lockdown started, the IACS window was open, so we had that and SAF to keep us good and busy,” explained Allan Paterson, company director. “Things became very different, but we never had to stop working, as such.”

Although viewings, for a time, became impossible, their property sales don’t seem to have suffered to any great extent and things are becoming more straightforward as the country progresses through the set phases of lockdown exit.

Allan continued: “The market is surprisingly good and we’ve got a couple of good farms just now – Ingleston Farm and North Corbelly. They’ve both had viewings every day in the past week. There are definitely still customers. Although the market was delayed in getting started properly at the start of lockdown, we’re now seeing a lot of good activity.

“For us, planting land isn’t even making it to the market. The demand is such that it goes straight away. The same has been happening with some farms – they’ve just been snapped up, which is great.

“As well as this, the vast majority of the ones that do go on the market go to a closing date, so things are competitive. We’ve got three farms going to a closing date in the next fortnight. Although not all farm sales, we had 11 sales happen in just a fortnight, so that was brilliant.”

With a strong mix of properties on the market, the Castle Douglas-based firm has also been seeing a mix of consumers snapping up opportunities. “We’re seeing a mix of both local buyers and those from south of the borders. We’re starting to see interest from Irish buyers again as well,” Allan told The SF.

“Small plots of 80-100 acres are getting keen interest from what we call lifestyle buyers. These are often people with a bit of financial security that are looking for their wee place in the country, away from city life. We have seven farms on the market just now, varying in sizes from 80 acres to 580 acres, so there’s something for all tastes.”

Looking forward, Allan is also positive about the future with – as he put it – some great farms on the horizon, about to come onto the market.

He concluded: “I have instructions on several farms coming to the market in the next few weeks and months, so all in all, we’ve been very lucky. It’s been a very strange year, but demand still seems to be there, and as we move through phase three, viewings and our business generally is becoming more straightforward.

“Hopefully, things keep moving in a positive direction and we can keep doing what we are doing!”