Over the last few months we have noticed more “Under Offer” signs appearing around the island and felt that the housing market was picking up. Ann Rhead of Arran Estate Agents kindly agreed to talk to us.
AR: The market on Arran was severely affected by the recession of 2007 and has been slowly recovering over the last year or so. We had a large backlog of over 120 properties up to 2011 but it is now closer to the usual 40-50.
VfA: Are values rising or falling and are asking prices being achieved, exceeded or falling short?
AR: Up to 15 months ago values fell by up to 20%-25%, but now we are achieving asking prices. Many properties are now going to a closing date which does usually mean we are getting higher offers.
VfA: Is there a change in the pattern of sales?
AR: Yes, sales used to be very seasonal but now it is less so, with sales continuing slowly throughout the year.
VfA: Is funding available?
AR: Mortgages are not so easy to get as they used to be and non-traditional properties (of which there are many on Arran) are much more difficult. Many second homes are now funded by letting the property to finance mortgages.
VfA: Is there any Brexit effect?
AR: No, we haven’t seen any change in the market directly attributable to the Brexit vote. However many offers are now subject to the condition of the sale of a property in England.
VfA: What types of houses are popular at the moment?
AR: Traditional houses in walk-in condition are the biggest seller and we find apartments are not as popular a choice as detached properties.
VfA: Who is buying – first timers, young couples, professionals, locals or incomers?
AR: It is a mixture of purchasers, from retirees, holiday home purchasers, white collar workers coming to live on the island, and a few young local families.
VfA: Are any localities more popular than others – Kildonan will of course be the Mayfair of the Arran Monopoly board!
AR: Most of our sales are in the three main villages; Brodick, Lamlash and Whiting Bay, however each village has its own loyal following.
VfA: Thank you very much Ann for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us.