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Will AWPR mean a boost for the Aberdeenshire property market?

Wednesday 08 August 2018

With the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) due to open soon, what will it mean for the property market in Aberdeenshire? We catch up with Hannah Christiansen, from Galbraith to get an agent's perspective.

Demand for premium property in Aberdeenshire is growing, according to Galbraith, Scotland’s leading independent property consultancy. The firm has published its figures for the second quarter of 2018 (April – June), which showed increased sales and a return of confidence among buyers and sellers. The opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route is likely to offer a major boost to the property sector in the North East, the firm believes.

Hannah Christiansen, who leads the residential team for Galbraith in Aberdeen, said:

“The past quarter saw an increase in sales of 66.67 per cent quarter on quarter for the properties that we handle – primarily rural homes at the higher end of the market. We have increased our market share in the North East over the past four years, with the result that the number of potential purchasers now on our books has increased by 180 per cent year on year. The opening of the AWPR will really open up the whole region and desirable homes which were perhaps in rather isolated locations will now be within commuting distance of the city. This is likely to have a significant positive effect on the market.

“This year in particular, traditional but ‘n’ ben cottages are usually selling very quickly. Every one of these that comes on the market generates a significant amount of interest and the last one I sold went to a closing date with five competing offers. The interest in traditional Scottish architecture is enduring and these properties are affordable, while also offering the potential to add value, by creating an extension.

“Since the start of 2018, the supply of good quality homes coming to the market has increased – for Aberdeenshire, the figure for new properties coming on the market has doubled compared with the same period last year. This has coincided with an increase of 122 per cent in the number of market appraisals we are carrying out and a 107 per cent increase in property viewings. This level of competition and buyer interest is very encouraging for Aberdeen, given the few years of suppressed economic activity here.

“Properties with land continue to be in demand, particularly in the most scenic and accessible areas. The hotspot areas in the region remain parts of Deeside and Donside.”

Timeline

The AWPR road building project, costing £745 million, is equivalent in length to building a new road between Edinburgh and Glasgow and is a key part of the Scottish Government’s £1 billion investment in transport in the region. Other infrastructure investment includes rail improvement between Aberdeen and Inverness, Haudagain roundabout improvement work. the A96 dualling programme, and a new junction at Laurencekirk on the A90, removing the bottleneck at Inveramsay Bridge.

When complete, AWPR will take through traffic away from Aberdeen's congested inner ring road. Economy secretary Keith Brown announced in March that completion of the project would be delayed from spring until autumn following the collapse of Carillion, one of its contractors.