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Referendum a Factor in Property Decrease

An expert has blamed the referendum and proposed land reforms for buyers and sellers holding back on buying properties and estates in Scotland.

A leading property agent believes that uncertainty over Scotland’s future in the European market and other doubts in the build up to the September vote led to an uncertainty in the market, with many apparently holding off until the “No” vote to buy estate properties in the country.

Pause in the Market

The sales of expensive sporting estates were effectively on “pause” during the referendum with the number dropping by twelve from figures in 2013. Evelyn Channing also stated that part of the reason for the delay in properties may be due to the controversial land reform bills brought through by the Scottish Government.

Despite the referendum having returned a “No” vote, many believe that this uncertainty may make it difficult for the market to bounce back. Evelyn Channing, director of the rural department at Savills in Edinburgh, said: “We anticipated that the referendum might dampen the estate market in 2014, equally from a seller’s and a buyer’s perspective.

“Sellers do not wish to market their property to a diminished audience; some buyers do not wish to commit with important ‘known unknowns’ on the agenda.”

She added: “The referendum and the awaited land reform proposals, together with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform, had the accumulated effect of creating uncertainty in the rural property sector in 2014 which in turn caused the market to pause.”

Under new proposals from the Scottish Government, landowners may be forced to give up their land if they are blocking a development.

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