Business & Investment

Scottish independence!Outer Hebrides sees the biggest home price boom

Today’s hot housing market means that rural areas have overtaken something like London As a mover’s favorite, but who expected the Outer Hebrides to be the place of the most dramatic home price boom anywhere in the UK?

The average cost of housing in February this year was surprisingly low at just £ 132,397, according to government data analyzed by financial firm IVAA advice. Still, this was 51.32 percent above the level just five years ago. At that time, the cost of a typical house there was only £ 87,494.

For beginners, the Outer Hebrides covers about 200 interconnected islands off the west coast of Scotland.

Wild at Heart: The village of Aird Asaig on Harris Island. The Outer Hebrides covers about 200 interconnected islands off the west coast of Scotland.

With a population of only about 15, it is famous for its steep coastline, spectacular mountain landscapes and a rich culture of Gaelic music and art.

Still, the Outer Hebrides, or Gaelic Na Hei Leanan Shear, goes against the usual “place, place, place” checklist of essentials.

They are far from the big cities. For example, a drive from some islands to Edinburgh involves a two-hour or longer ferry crossing followed by an eight-hour drive.

Travel is memorable, but not always for the timid. Round-trip flights to and from Rose Island use the beach for takeoff and landing.

But it is their relative isolation, peace, and laid-back pace that make these beautiful islands, inhabited by a total of only 27,000 people.

This year, the Outer Hebrides has been named the UK’s best place for work-life balance by the financial website Money.

“Maintaining work-life balance is important, but especially for now, it’s easy to say,” says Money’s personal finance expert Salman Haqqi.

“It’s not easy to handle the pressures of home and work during a pandemic, but it’s important to make time for yourself and reduce the amount of demand you place on yourself.”

Over the past year, the coronavirus has increased the number of people seeking a slower pace of life, with space for families, nearby wildlife, and cheap homes.

Homes for sale include £ 82,500 for a two-bedroom cottage on the Isle of Lewis, £ 255,000 for a six-bedroom family house on North Uist, and £ 350,000 for a modern three-bedroom house with a boathouse overlooking the South Wist coast. I am.

“The Outer Hebrides Islands have miles of sandy beaches and crystal clear waters,” says Fidi Robertson of real estate firm Galbraith.

“Homes with direct access to the coast and beach frontiers and homes with sea views attract premiums.”

Sale of real estate is relatively rare, but what happens shows how hot the market is.

Forest House, a modern four-bedroom detached house with stables and five acres of land just a short walk from the beaches of Northwist Island, hit the market last year with 10 offers that exceed the £ 325,000 asking price. had. A couple from London finally bought it.

Robertson said: ‘This feeling of being a wild and pristine chime with growing interest in nature. Some islands are a paradise for various birds, including eagles and owls, but some have otters, deer, seals and dolphins.

Of course, there are drawbacks.

Some say that shopping in big cities involves ferry trips and that there are limited facilities for young people. Even a humble visit to a cinema may require an overnight stay.

And there is concern that the Outer Hebrides population may be declining too much.

The National Records of Scotland predicts that the population of Scotland will increase by 2%, while the population of the entire island will decrease by 16% by 2043.

There are attempts to reverse the flow. The Scottish National Party has promised £ 50,000 to help people move from mainland Scotland to the islands, and advertisements from the Outer Hebrides Council emphasize good broadband.

“Population challenges are clear. We need younger working-age people to move or stay here to support and grow our economy,” said Council leader Lodi McKay. say.

So will the pandemic be forced to rethink once in a lifetime and save the island to many? The answer may be yes.

Fidi Robertson said: ‘Over the past year, there has been strong demand for real estate in some of Scotland’s more remote regions.

“Buyers have reassessed their arrangements and opportunities for a better work-life balance. Living on the island is a real option, combined with excellent broadband links and flexibility from employers.

At the market … island life

Scottish independence!Outer Hebrides sees the biggest home price boom Scottish independence!Outer Hebrides sees the biggest home price boom

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