Borders railway driving increase in house sales

Residential housing sale and letting signs are seen in Hastings in southern England

Property experts are attributing a surge in house sales in the Borders to the popularity of the Borders railway, which re-opened in 2015.

According to SPC Scotland, the volume of properties being sold in the Borders region has increased by 17.7% year on year, while the average selling price has decreased by 3.5% to £172,008.

With a plentiful supply of property for sale across the area, the Borders region is not seeing the pressures on the market from a shortage of properties, as experienced elsewhere in Scotland.

The Scottish Borders market is more favourable to buyers than in Glasgow and Edinburgh, where properties are selling quicker and for increasing selling prices. The average selling price in Edinburgh has increased by 6.5% over the last three months, compared to the same period last year, while the average selling price in Glasgow has increased by 9.8%.

Many buyers looking for a family home in Edinburgh are being priced out, but can find affordable family-sized housing in a rural Borders setting, and most of these properties sell for at or around their home report value.

David Kilshaw from BSPC said: “With the Borders railway proving much more popular than originally projected, there is clear evidence emerging that more and more people are choosing to live in the Borders and work in Edinburgh. Galashiels and Melrose, and the villages on their periphery, are within fifteen minutes’ drive of the park-and-ride facility at Tweedbank are now considered within reasonable commuting distance of Edinburgh city centre.”

He added: “With a shortage of properties for sale in the lower price bracket in Edinburgh, it is perfectly possible to pick up a three bedroom detached property in central Borders for around £150,000 and a brand new four bed family home for under £200,000.

“The local schools enjoy a very good reputation, and the valley of the River Tweed offers all sorts of recreating for families from mountain biking to fishing and country walks. So if you are looking for affordable housing, a good quality of life and a great place to bring up your family, it’s right there at the end of the railway line.”

Orlaith Brogan, spokeswoman for SPC Scotland, added: “What we are seeing is that properties in the Borders and Clackmannanshire are proving popular as they offer a more affordable housing option for families and they provide easy links to both the countryside and to cities for commuting.

“With a shortage of properties for sale being reported by many SPCs across Scotland, we finding that homes are selling quickly and achieving over their Home Report value. This sellers’ market means it is a very good time for those thinking about selling their home to do so.”