26 October 2001

How Edinburgh ripple is spreading southward

By Andrew Shirley

EDINBURGHs influence on land values is increasing according to agents, and one property on the late-autumn market offers some interesting possibilities.

In Northumberland, just south of the border, Strutt & Parker is selling the 2094-acre Duddo Estate, near Branxton where James IV of Scotland was defeated by the English at the Battle of Flodden in 1513.

"There is definitely a ripple effect of the money now being made in Edinburgh," says the firms Andrew Rettie, who notes the city is expanding rapidly and in terms of funds managed is now one of the largest financial centres in Europe.

However, even with a price tag of more than £5.3m, he believes the estate, which includes 1812 acres of IACS-registered land, still represents very good value for money.

"The total package works out to be £2531/acre, an equivalent property in the south would cost far more than this." Natalie Price of S&Ps London office agrees, suggesting a value closer to £10m would be realistic.

"I think buyers, especially those who dont need to commute to London everyday, are realising the benefits of ownership up here. There are none of the problems associated with too many people, but by train London is only three and a half hours away," says Mr Rettie.

He reckons Duddo will either interest farmers with development funds to reinvest or city-based individuals and anticipates a quick sale. "There has been a paucity of good quality properties in this area and I think the market is ready for this."

Almost 250 acres of woodland form the basis of a 28-drive pheasant shoot and a good residential portfolio is featured. The principal dwelling is a recently renovated 6-bedroomed house and there are seven cottages plus planning consent to double that number.

North of Edinburgh in Fife, FPDSavills are offering Ceres Farm near Cassindilly. Principally a 464-acre arable unit, the property comes with two dwellings which the firm says could appeal to a two-generation farming family.

It also reckons that proximity to historic St Andrews eight miles away means there is potential for a profitable bed-and-breakfast enterprise, taking advantage of the large number of visiting tourists, swelled no doubt by the recent arrival of Prince William.

Guide price is in excess of £1.1m. &#42

Arable land forms the bulk of the Duddo Estate in Northumberland.