Estate agents claim CO2 offsets boost sales of Scottish estates
Rural property consultancy Galbraith says demand for land for carbon offsets and rewilding is driving the Scottish estates market.
The company has sold and bought domains valued at over £ 50million over the past two years.
Galbraith said that a greater variety of motivations for acquiring a mountain estate further boosted the market which was already benefiting from the boom in the forestry sector.
Partner Emma Chalmers said: “The interesting change is that there is now a range of buyers with a variety of interests and buyers are no longer interested only in the more traditional sports of grouse shooting, low-level stalking, fishing and shooting.
“The sales of Glenlochay Estate in Stirlingshire and Auchavan Estate in Angus, sold in 2019 and 2020 respectively, both prompted a number of natural capital buyers to come forward alongside those who were primarily interested. through traditional activities.
However, the sale of Kinrara Estate by Aviemore earlier this year saw the majority of potential buyers focus on forest creation and natural capital.
“This happened again when a livestock farm was marketed and sold privately, also earlier this year, with a secure natural capital buyer. Demonstrating the changing nature of the market.”
The company said demand outstrips supply by a considerable margin, as only about 15 domains will change hands in a typical year.
Average prices are rising, along with large premiums paid for hill farms and plantation land.
Galbraith reports that buyers include corporations, institutions and investment houses, as well as individuals with a variety of motivations and interests. Private sales have grown significantly as a percentage of the overall market.
Ms Chalmers continued: ‘The Scottish estate has always been in demand, once driven primarily by an interest in traditional sports, as well as a desire to’ get away from it all ‘. Demand has consistently exceeded supply, with only 10 to 15 domains offered for sale each year, either privately or on the open market.
“However, we are seeing with the growing understanding of climate change, the growing desire to offset carbon use, both personally and by businesses, the need to be more visibly green or even by some to achieve their net goals. zero, the traditional domain, together with the mountain and livestock farms, arouse increased interest from this new purchaser of natural capital.
“Some buyers are looking to plant well-designed productive forests, others native forests or even a diverse mix of the two, with new peatland restoration also being part of the mix.” However, natural capital does not mean stopping harvest. traditional sports like there are many buyers looking to keep all or part of the sport while introducing or developing elements of natural capital …
“Land is acquired by companies to offset carbon emissions while providing a financial return on other parts of the domain. “
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