Estate agency, Bell Ingram, is optimistic about rural property, farm and land sales now that lockdown restrictions have been relaxed.

The firm saw all sales completed during lockdown achieve over the asking price and they are already seeing an excellent response to farming properties newly released onto the market this month.

“Lockdown demonstrated the importance of outdoor space,” explained Bell Ingram’s Malcolm Taylor, “and we are seeing strong demand for properties with large gardens and easy access to the countryside.

“Many of our potential buyers are looking for homes with separate office space as the trend for remote working continues. Rural areas with superfast broadband are particularly attractive and are adding value to property.

"If the appetite for rural property continues, we may well see more farms divided into separate lots for sale with the traditional farmhouse commanding bigger prices than before thanks to this increased interest in the residential elements of the farm.”

Bare land has always been in high demand with neighbouring farmers and other investors looking to expand their property. However, renewed interest in lifestyle properties of less than 15 acres also means that the value of bare land could also increase due to demand from non-farming buyers.

He also explained that, while there’s no doubt that lockdown has increased the desirability of rural properties, speculation that buyers could snap up premium properties at big discounts has proved unfounded and he was confident that values will hold steady or increase.

Mr Taylor continued: “Our RICS registered valuers and agents are currently extremely busy appraising farms and getting them ready for the quarter three market. Land is currently looking at its best after a wet winter so it’s the ideal time to organise photographs and video coverage.

“With such a slow start to the year we are expecting that fierce competition among buyers with the best properties quickly under offer. Buyers who have finance lined up will be in a stronger position to secure the right property when it arrives on the market.”

Throughout the Covid-19 lockdown period, Bell Ingram saw decent levels of demand and activity. Since the beginning of March, agents in Oban, Beauly, Aberdeen, Forfar and Perth, dealt with almost 500 enquiries, with buyers and sellers making good use of virtual viewing platforms while travel and home visits were banned.

The relaxation of restrictions on house moves is hugely welcome news as many transactions have been delayed, preventing people from moving into their new home.

As they move through the phases of the coronavirus lockdown exit, they are seeing a 'new normal' evolve for buyers and sellers. This has meant extensive training for all our staff in safe operating procedures and ensuring that our premises have the correct signage and equipment.