Referendum vote ‘no’ aids property market

12/10/10 PA File Photo of For Sale signs. The housing market has been sending out some rather mixed messages lately. On the one hand there is news that house prices have reached record highs. On the other, a wave of reports suggests demand in the market is calming down amid a growing mood of caution, See PA Feature FINANCE Finance Column. Picture credit should read: Rebekah Downes/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FINANCE Finance Column

12/10/10 PA File Photo of For Sale signs. The housing market has been sending out some rather mixed messages lately. On the one hand there is news that house prices have reached record highs. On the other, a wave of reports suggests demand in the market is calming down amid a growing mood of caution, See PA Feature FINANCE Finance Column. Picture credit should read: Rebekah Downes/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FINANCE Finance Column

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There is optimism over prospects for the Borders property market in 2015, following a strong performance at the end of last year.

Some estate agents feel that there was a relief across the market following the ‘no’ vote in last year’s Scottish independence referendum.

Sophie McNeil, property manager at Doughtys in Eyemouth, said: “We felt that the market picked up after the referendum last year.

“It seemed at the time that people were looking but were waiting to see what the outcome was.

“Things definitely picked up around late September, and then, unusually, interest stayed high for a longer time than usual. Normally, there is interest in the spring and then it tails off before returning in the late summer, but this was pretty constant.”

She continued: “We know that there are always factors that affect people looking to buy, whether that’s the referendum or the planned changes to stamp duty. But the last quarter of 2014 was a good one.

“From our point of view we hope that this continues.”

Kelso-based property consultancy, CKD Galbraith, also saw encouraging levels of activity in the property market throughout Scotland and a return to competitive bidding.

The fourth quarter of 2014 (October – December) saw property viewings, sales figures and the number of high quality properties available in the Scottish Borders continue to grow according to research conducted by the firm. Despite the slowdown during the referendum the market bounced back in November and confidence returned along with English and international buyers.

CKD Galbraith’s Scottish Borders statistics from the final quarter of 2014 show that their sales increased by 24% compared to the final quarter of 2013. Property viewings were also reported to have risen by more than 25%.

According to the firm, 54% of their buyers were locally based, while 4% were international buyers. On average properties in the Borders are selling four weeks quicker than they did over the third quarter of 2014.