Autumn/Winter 2020

"With the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the reality of home working, and making households re-evaluate their home as more than just a place to sleep, many families are now looking further-afield to find their ideal home. This pattern has seen enquiries for quality rural properties outstrip supply in the Summer and Autumn markets.”

Chris Hall, Director of Rural & Professional Services, Rettie


  • Demand for rural homes has spiked post-lockdown as families and remote working have opened up lifestyle options
  • The average price of a detached homes in an accessible rural location in Scotland is £284k; this is £74k, or -20%, less than the average price of a detached home in a large urban area
  • Supply in the rural Scottish market is down -27% in Q1-Q3 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, leading to an undersupply in the market
  • Rural areas in within the economic sphere of the major cities, such as East Lothian and Renfrewshire, command the highest rural values

The Cost of Country Living

The lockdown and rise of working from home has made the dream of country living more achievable and practical than ever before. This has been reflected in a surge in enquiries and registrations for rural homes when lockdown restrictions were lifted over the Summer. This surge is understandable given the value and lifestyle benefits that appear to be available.

rural figure one infographic

In Scotland the price of an average detached family home in a large urban settlement, is over £350,000, whilst the average cost in an accessible rural location is £74,000 less (see Fig.3). If you choose to move to a remote rural location, then the average price of a detached house is over £120,000 less.

rural figure two infographic

However, as one might expect, this value is not uniform across the country. If you wish to live in a rural detached home that is within the hinterland of Edinburgh, such as Peeblesshire, Midlothian or East Lothian, then you can expect to pay anything from just under 50% to 75% above the national average for a rural detached homes of c.£265,000.

rural figure three infographic

Indeed, in East Lothian, which is the most expensive county for rural home you would need just under £200,000 more to meet the £458,000 average for a detached home. Premiums for proximity to major urban centres are typical with Renfrewshire 32% above the national average, while Stirlingshire is over 20%. (see Fig.6). However, given that the average price of a detached home within Edinburgh is now over half a million pounds, these premiums might look like good value when combined with a rural lifestyle.

Against this backdrop the Rural & Country Homes market has seen average house prices in the year to Q3 2020 rise faster than urban areas (see Fig.2) with accessible rural locations up +2.5%. Remote locations have also seen a jump, up over 4% year-on-year to Q3 2020. Part of this jump has been down to constrained supply. Whilst supply coming to the market was quick to rebound in Q3 (see Fig.5), the overall number of rural properties that have come to the market over Q1 to Q3 2020 remains -27% down across Scotland. This has meant that where quality properties have become available demand has been strong. While the rural market in Scotland accounts for only around 17% of all transactions annually, there can be no doubt that Covid-19 has opened up new locations to a raft of new buyers who are now actively seeking to make a lifestyle move.
rural figure four infographic

If you are looking to sell your property in East Lothian , Stirlingshire, Perthshire or any other areas listed above , please don't hesitate to contact our Town & Country team .

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