by Ron Hastings, February 2004
benefits of living in the Borders has attracted a new breed of buyer
- those prepared to commute to the cities of Edinburgh and Newcastle.
For people who have lived in the Borders for some time this may
sound surprising, in an area where a twelve mile trip to the next
town is often considered a journey on its own. However the escalating
prices in Edinburgh are forcing buyers further out and rather than
relocate in a less attractive no-man's-land, buyers are taking the
opportunity to relocate in the country and accept the need to travel
for an hour or so each way.
is no doubt that it is buyers from outwith the area that have been
the driving force behind the recent surge in Borders house prices.
When looked at from the point of view of a buyer it makes a lot
of sense. As commuters from the south will tell you, a one hour
journey to work through pleasant Borders countryside is preferable
to being stuck in a queue on the M5. Even talk of harsh winter conditions
does not stand up to examination. In reality only a few days might
be lost due to conditions of a bad weather, and this could easily
happen wherever you are located in the UK. Any travelling problems
seem to be offset by the lessening of tension and stress related
health problems which are probably the greatest cause of absences
and rail connections are the key to choosing which areas are commutable.
Those with the easiest road connections are areas around Lauder,
Stow and the Peebles but buyers seem to be prepared to commute from
all over the Borders, including less well-connected but attractive
villages such as Yetholm and Morebattle in the Cheviots. The Galashiels
area is certainly benefiting from the recent boom and perhaps the
prospect of the Waverley railway line being re-opened has contributed
there. Whether or not that materialises remains to be seen but the
Eastern Borders already has a speedy rail connection for those prepared
to commute to Edinburgh or Newcastle on the main east coast line.
access to information technology is a key factor for those who plan
to relocate. The newly available Broadband connections and improved
cell phone coverage have made mobile working and home offices a
viable option. The ability to work in a country setting makes the
Borders an attractive proposition. This is particularly true for
those who are lucky enough to sell in high equity areas, such as
in the South, thereby releasing funds to relocate at a fraction
of the cost with advantages of a better lifestyle and less financial
recent trend should be seen as an opportunity for the Borders to
gain from the increasing wealth being brought to the area. While
there is a downside in respects of the spiralling house prices having
an affect on the affordability of starter homes, there are also
benefits and increased opportunities for local shops and business.
As with most things it is really a question of getting the balance
Hastings & Co. we have been aware of this trend for several
years. We provide a user-friendly service explaining the niceties
of Scots law and our staff are trained to provide helpful information.
We are committed to providing a high level of service both to clients
old and new promoting attractions of life in the Borders. As part
of our ongoing commitment we have signed up the Scottish Tourist
Board's initiative on promoting excellent service and look forward
to fresh challenges or replacing changes in the Borders in years
Hastings is the Managing Partner of Hastings & Co, Solicitors
and Estate Agents