Introduction - December 2012

    The Scottish rural sector is in excellent health, with its diverse income mix showing great resilience against the wider economic difficulties.

    Prime arable land values have outperformed the rest of Great Britain, rising by 9.7% in the first three quarters of 2012. And there have been plenty of opportunities for buyers, with the greatest acreage on the market since 2006.

    Commercial forestry has also enjoyed a bumper year, with average sale prices jumping by 49%. According to our Forest Market Report, buyers are increasingly seeking larger blocks of land. And with continued interest in timber, biomass and carbon sequestration.

    Renewable energy remains in the spotlight, with Savills receiving more than twice as many enquiries from farmers and landowners looking to diversify into green energy then last year. Returns can be extremely attractive, but with the subsidy regime constantly under review, the window of opportunity may be limited.
    Over the past year, Scottish tourist numbers have increased by 5%, and with hard-pressed families increasingly holidaying in the UK, holiday lets offer great potential income. We examine the essential ingredients to a successful tourism venture.

    One example of that success is deer stalking, as prices have increased by 5% this year. Although stag stalking remains the holy grail of country sports in Europe, we look at how landowners are reaching out to female clients and extending the season to include more affordable hind stalking. 

    With such a wealth of different assets, it’s hardly surprising that Scottish estates continue to command international interest. Although fewer rural estates have sold this year, demand and prices remain buoyant despite the uncertain economic climate, as Anna Henderson explains.

    The past year may have brought some atrocious weather and plenty of challenges for our farming and rural clients. But there is much to be thankful for, and many opportunities for the year ahead. As ever, we are happy to help with any enquiries you might have, and wish you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.


    Key contacts

    Jonathan Henson

    Jonathan Henson

    Estate Management

    Savills Perth

    +44 (0) 1738 477 511

    +44 (0) 1738 477 511