The continuing influx of people to the Highlands looking for a change of lifestyle is predicted to protect the Highland property market this year, according to CKD Galbraith.

CKD Galbraith says it does not expect any significant downturn and there may be moderate growth throughout this year due to those moving mainly from the central belt and south to the area. Quality property in attractive locations will always be in demand.

John Bound, head of CKD Galbraith’s residential department in Inverness said: ‘I can well remember our agency popping the cork on a bottle of champagne to celebrate the sale of the first house at over £100,000. That was in 1982. 25 years later we have just sold five houses at an average price of just over £1 million each. It looks as those the £1million highland house is here to stay.’

Last year Mr Bound, who has over 25 years experience in the Highland property market, sold Braelangwell House, one of the most elegant 18th Century Georgian country mansions in Ross-shire. This is the fourth time in his career that he has sold the same property; the price increased by 300% in eleven years.

As for 2008, CKD Galbraith expects further divergence across the property market. The New Homes market in and around Inverness in particular stands out as a sector where careful pricing and marketing will be required to meet clients’ expectations. In the sporting, farm and woodland markets the firm expect to see prices continue to increase, as healthy demand still exists and there is considerable cash available at the top end of the market.

The continuing healthy level of demand for farms, estates and quality residential property in the north would indicate that the Highland property market is generally buoyant and CKD Galbraith predict it will remain so throughout this year.