A record high of £112m was invested in the purchase of Scottish estates in 2020, with prices being driven up by a rise in green investors and increased demand from residential and lifestyle buyers as a consequence of COVID-19.
This compares to a total market value for 2019 of £67m, according to the latest edition of our Scottish Estate Market Review.
Given the market for estates is dominated by discretionary cash purchasers – a significant proportion from overseas – it might have been assumed that activity in the Scottish estate market would have reduced in 2020 because of the impact of lockdowns and travel restrictions.
But Strutt & Parker’s latest analysis shows that 24 of the 36 estates offered for sale in 2020 were sold or under offer at the year end and several more sales have been agreed during the first three months of this year.
This is higher than the typical figure of around 30 estates being offered for sale each year with 20 of them being sold.
The increased demand for estates is coming from a rise in green investors whose interest in buying a Scottish estate comes from its potential for afforestation, carbon capture and rewilding, rather than traditional field sports.
For smaller, more residentially focused estates, demand has also increased from people who want to leave more heavily populated parts of the UK and Europe as part of the ‘COVID-flight’ to the countryside.
To read further detail on the Scottish estates market download our full market report.