Navigating the Realities of Island Property Market: Insights from the West Coast of Scotland

Navigating the Realities of Island Property Market: Insights from the West Coast of Scotland

I’m often told, “You have one of the best jobs in the world!” This exclamation usually comes from holidaymakers, particularly during smooth ferry crossings on bright, sunny days while traveling between picturesque islands along the West Coast of Scotland. ¬†However, I often respond with a dose of reality, explaining the logistical and weather challenges of commuting during the winter months.

Living and working on the West Coast of Scotland is truly remarkable. Many clients relocate to this region for a change of lifestyle, seeking a more relaxed way of life amidst its stunning landscapes.

But while the demand for properties in accessible areas remains steady year-round, commuting to more remote areas can be challenging, especially in winter. These remote regions typically experience a slowdown in the property market from October, followed by a surge of listings in the spring. This trend continues into 2024, with my schedule already filled with travel plans to Islay, Jura, Lismore, and recently completing property appraisals on the Isle of Coll.

The Isle of Mull stands out as one of the most accessible islands on the West Coast, boasting three dedicated ferry routes from the mainland. As a resident of Mull, I’m well-positioned to respond to market demands and have stayed busy with both property appraisals and viewings throughout the winter months.

However, the sale of development plots in the region has faced challenges over the past 18 months. This is partly attributed to the lingering effects of Covid and the subsequent rise in material costs, prompting some clients to reconsider their building plans. Fortunately, there’s a resurgence in self-build confidence, with several clients eager to pursue their dream homes in the area. In fact, the last plot we listed on Mull received an offer within six hours of hitting the market!

Several external factors have also influenced the property market dynamics in recent months. In April 2023, there was an increase in additional dwelling supplement tax, a topic that’s increasingly discussed within the second home market, traditionally a robust sector across the West Coast.

In addition, landlords must now obtain a licence before operating letting properties, a requirement that has led to the listing of several long-standing letting properties in recent months, mainly due to landlords looking to retire.

Despite these developments, I remain optimistic about the upcoming year. I firmly believe in the enduring charm of the West Coast of Scotland and encourage anyone interested in buying or selling in the region to reach out to us to discuss their needs.

The experienced team at Bell Ingram Oban has amassed exceptional local property knowledge over the years. We take pride in offering professional market advice to both buyers and sellers alike.

Our people

Andrew Fuller

Andrew Fuller

Senior Associate
Estate Agency
Tel: 01631 566 122

About: Andrew heads up the Estate Agency team in our Oban office and is focused on ensuring his clients have a first-class experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. A resident of the Isle of Mull, Andrew is very well known across the West Coast of Scotland and has developed an excellent reputation for marketing prime residential property, including plots, crofts, island homes and lifestyle opportunities. Andrew joined Bell Ingram following almost 15 years managing several high-level private and commercial development projects in the United Arab Emirates. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

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