BUYERS of Scottish estates are far more fearful of another independence referendum than Brexit, according to new research.
The estate market in Scotland experienced its best year in a decade in 2016 as confidence built from a post-independence vote low in 2014.
Real estate experts Savills say last year’s Brexit vote had “no discernible effect” on the market with 24 estates sold at a total value of £86m – up 40% on the 2015.
But they say there are now fewer buyers on the market amid fears of “indyref2”.
Savills say the prospect of independence for Scotland has a more marked affect on buyers from the UK than those from overseas.
Interest in estates came from across Europe as well as places such as India and China.
Properties sold included the Fettercairn estate in Aberdeenshire which was on the market for offers over £15m and the Leckie estate in Stirling, which was priced at offers over £3.38m.
Evelyn Channing, rural director at Savills, said: “There are undoubtedly fewer buyers in the market as a result of talk of a second independence referendum, whilst others need to be reassured over the implications of land reform.
“Clarity in respect of a second referendum would undoubtedly encourage those buyers who are currently sitting on the fence to come down and bolster current global interest in Scottish estates.”
Although agricultural land values are under pressure, Ms Channing stressed that the value of sporting estates hasn’t changed over the last year.
She continued: “Certainly from an international perspective, Scotland is still considered to be a safe environment in which to hold property assets.
“Although some buyers are still wary about Scotland, and the continued possibility of a second referendum, it is clear that others consider the outstanding value for money on offer north of the border to outweigh any political concerns.
“Indeed it is encouraging to see the return of Scottish wealth investing north of the border, a trend we are not just seeing in estates but across the full property spectrum, including residential and commercial sectors.”
“Buyers continue to be attracted to Scotland by the quality and variety of its sport and its scenic beauty which cannot be replicated elsewhere in the world.