Top Scottish agency Galbraith says key parts of the country saw some buyers snapping up properties this year without even visiting - and many sale prices storming far ahead of asking prices.
The firm says Scotland’s market this year has been characterised by very strong demand and competition between buyers, resulting in a rise in sales of 36 per cent compared with the previous year and an annual price increase of 10.1 per cent.
It says some exceptional premiums being paid for the most attractive rural properties.
Several areas of the country have witnessed exceptional demand. One property sold for an astonishing 214 per cent above the asking price and another sold for 108 per cent above the guide price.
The average premium paid above the asking price for properties sold this year in Inverness-shire was 17 per cent; while in Perthshire it was 16.2 per cent.
The number of houses sold has risen by 36 per cent year on year in Scotland as a whole, and the regions with the highest recorded sales were Perthshire and Inverness-shire.
Simon Brown, partner and head of residential agency for Galbraith says: “Rural property has been highly prized this year as many people have been attracted to the idea of a rural retreat, offering more space, greater privacy and a better lifestyle.
“A good proportion of properties have attracted offers from multiple bidders, resulting in some houses changing hands for significantly more than the guide price. Market activity has been well balanced across all regions of Scotland and all price bands, with higher-priced property also selling well.
Brown adds that many of the factors underpinning demand in 2021 are likely to continue next year.
“Although the Bank of England has just increased the interest rate to 0.25 per cent, mortgages remain relatively affordable, which has a major impact on transactions. The fact that working from home is likely to continue next year means that many people will be able to consider a more rural property, as the commute is less of a factor and therefore this is likely to also sustain demand.”
He adds that convenience of virtual viewings and video tours continues to have a significant impact on the market.
“In Aberdeenshire, Ayrshire and Inverness-shire, some property sales were concluded without the buyer ever having visited the property in person” he states.