The property market in the north of Scotland has just got off to an earlier-than-usual start thanks to the launch of three diverse units in the area by regional specialist Aberdeen & Northern.
Agent John Rhind said he usually started to sell farms from March and April.
“People even like to wait until May to have their viewings because that’s when places start to look their best.”
Mr Rhind said he did expect the main selling season to start a little earlier this year as single farm payment issues were sorted out, but CAP reform was not behind the disposal of the farms he was currently selling.
“It’s mainly family circumstances.”
Mains of Auchmedden at Pennan, 10 miles from Banff, is the largest of the trio and is being sold as a part of a business consolidation by its vendors who are buying another farm closer to their main holding.
Auchmedden’s stunning location and five-bed house with coastal views could attract amenity buyers, said Mr Rhind.
However, the £37,000 worth of SFP that was included in the sale meant the 295-acre livestock holding was also a viable agricultural proposition.
“It is very well priced and there has been huge interest already,” he said.
The guide is £350,000, but under the Scottish selling system that is meant only as a starting point for potential bidders.
By contrast, 288-acre Loanhead and Mid Kintrae Farms, at Elgin, Moray, would appeal mainly to commercial arable producers, especially as there was no principal dwelling, he reckoned.
A good proportion of the soil is classed as Grade 2 and Mr Rhind has lotted the farm five ways to add extra appeal for local farmers.
Because of this, the £18,000 SFP is available by separate negotiation to avoid confusion.
As a whole he is looking for offers over £692,000, with the largest lot – 174 acres of land – priced at £300,000.
Possibly the most interesting of the sales is Leodibest, a 170-acre croft near the coast at Latheron in Caithness.
About two hours north of Inverness, Mr Rhind said the farm, which comes with a three-bed bungalow and is priced at £235,000, could appeal to somebody from England who had sold a house there and was looking for an attractively priced lifestyle property with some land for farming or equestrian use.
However, because Leodibest was classified as a croft the new owner would have to be careful if they wanted to rent it out in the future, he warned.
“If it was considered a long-term tenancy the tenant could go to the land court and buy it for 15 times the annual rent.”