Homes on Scotland’s answer to America’s Route 66 are being promoted even more to a huge global audience after a leading property consultancy linked up with the team behind the North Coast 500.

Galbraith previously signed an exclusive agreement with NC500 to showcase properties for sale.

Now the NC500 website will promote Galbraith properties within the circumference of the route on its new interactive map.

However, last year there was outrage from residents at Applecross in Wester Ross after a 0.061 acre building plot on the route went on offer from Galbraiths for over £95,000, causing a storm of protest about locals being priced out.

The estate agency says on its special section of the NC500 website that it can reach a worldwide audience. "If you are thinking of selling your property our expert knowledge and extensive marketing reach will help achieve the maximum value for your property, this includes over 50 million page views a day across our own and affiliated property websites," it says.

“Social media plays an increasingly important role in generating increased interest in properties for sale and we have over 30,000 followers across our office network.”

Galbraith’s Phiddy Robertson said that it currently had 25 properties on - or near - the NC500 for sale, ranging from a modest croft house and croft near Dornoch at offers over £150,000 to a small estate at Nairn for £2.5m.

But she said a lot of the properties would be bought as businesses.

“Tourism is very important to this part of Scotland and the NC500 brand has been a fantastic marketing tool bringing the Highlands to a wider global audience,” she said.

“Many buyers have first visited the region on holiday and have subsequently decided to settle permanently in the area or perhaps buy a property which also has the potential to offer a holiday let on site.

“The NC500 has drawn people to the area and made people see the opportunity for small rural enterprises. One of the problems of the NC500 is that it has been more successful, far quicker than first thought - but it has created opportunity. There is a shortage of holiday accommodation on the route.

“It has increased values in some areas but what it has done is hugely positive - it’s made little villages along the route sustainable all the year round.”
NC500 chief executive Tom Campbell said that the significant boost to the economy created by the route had aided property sales in the region.

Last week it was revealed that the NC500 had generated more than £22m for the north Highlands’ economy last year, according to new research.

The NC500 is the 516 mile-long touring loop in and out of Inverness which takes in a network of roads around the region’s north, east and west coasts.

The study by Glasgow Caledonian University’s Moffat Centre for Tourism also reported 180 new jobs were created in 2018 linked to the route.

The NC500 was launched as a tourism concept in 2015 by Prince Charles’ North Highland Initiative (NHI).

According to the study, north Highlands tourism businesses such as tour operators and camper van rental firms reported year-on-year growth of 16% from 2014-2018.

It generated £22.89m in Gross Value Added last year.
Professor John Lennon’s report also highlights an additional ñ3.46 million in sales for accommodation, attraction, activity and retail businesses on or near the route in 2018.

Other findings from the study included a 19.9% increase in visitors to free admission attractions, while paid admission attractions benefitted from a 41.7% boost in visitor numbers.

The route was also credited with a rise in room occupancy throughout the north Highlands - going up from 52% in 2014 to 78% in 2018.

But for some it is more a highway to hell than a road paved with gold - with complaints from locals of long conveys of traffic, conversely speeding motorists and pit stop tourists replacing longer stay visitors.

A fifth of the route is single track, where a lot of the problems occur.

Stirling University researcher Gary Woodcock found people living along the tourist route wanted to move house because of disruption caused by visitors.

But David Whiteford, chairman of the NHI, said one of the aims of setting up the route was to stimulate economic growth.

He said: “The North Coast 500 is now one of the top reasons for people to travel to Scotland, and with the stunning scenery, unique experiences, exceptional food and drink, the famous Highland hospitality, a wide range of activities and the fascinating history and heritage the North Highlands of Scotland has to offer, this is no surprise.

“The findings within this report are so encouraging to see, with businesses throughout the North Highlands succeeding, developing and growing with the NC500 brand.’’

The study was commissioned by North Highland Initiative and development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Recently it was revealed that North Coast 500 Ltd, which promotes the route, has effectively been taken over by a company run by the country’s largest landowner, Danish fashion tycoon Anders Holch Povlsen. His firm has a 52 percent stake.

Mr Povlson, who is reportedly worth £4.5billion, bought the 42,000-acre Glenfeshie estate in the Cairngorms for øm in 2006 and has since acquired estates along the NC500 route and invested in tourism infrastructure such as a new luxury hotel at Tongue in Sutherland.

He was struck by tragedy earlier this year when three of his four children, Alma, Agnes, and Alfred were killed at the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo during the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings while they were on holiday there.

Galbraith’s NC500 site is at