Gross income rose by 5.2% in 2012 on Scottish rural estates benchmarked by Savills.

Landowners are reinvesting significant sums into rural residential and agricultural property, said the firm.

Income from residential property has overtaken agriculture as the main income source, accounting for 40% of gross income in 2012. Farming contributed 38% of income in 2012, a reduction from 46% in 2009.

Leisure and commercial interests were hit hardest by the fall in disposable incomes in 2012 but income from woodland enterprises rose, reflecting landowners harvesting commercial plantations for relatively high timber prices.

Expenditure on the average Scottish estate increased by 3.2% in 2012, to £58/ha, with repairs to tenants’ housing accounting for the largest proportion of expenditure.

The average estate spends 7.5% of gross income on capital improvements.

More than 40% of the average estate’s housing stock is provided as affordable housing for local communities, let farms and rural key workers.