ORKNEY and Shetland are witnessing a boom in house price values as Scots suffer a £250 general fall in house prices in a month.

New analysis reveals the Covid pandemic craving for open spaces has translated to the desire to buy homes on the Scottish islands, according to a new analysis.

This has led to Orkney seeing a 28.8% rise in house price values with average homes costing £183,198 - £20,000 below the price of a typical Scottish home.

And on Shetland prices have soared by 27.7% in a year with the typical home now worth £188,317.

John Tindale, Acadata senior housing analyst said Orkney and Shetland had been “suitably fitting the pandemic requirements of those looking for wide empty spaces in life-changing locations”.

It comes as the Holm of Huip, an isolated island located in the Orkney Islands, has gone up for sale for £300k, £100,000 less than the cost of a typical Scottish home.

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The island is being marketed by luxury private island specialists Vladi Private Islands and comes with its own private beaches, farmhouses and ruins - although you’ll need a row boat to reach it.

Their listing reads: “The charming Holm of Huip Island stretches over a surface area of approximately 250,000 square meters.

“Whilst most of its beaches are made up of slate and stone, a long, sandy beach can also be found towards the south of the island, close to the ruins of an old, stone house.

“As with the two farmhouses, it would be possible to either renovate or rebuild these ruins in order to make the buildings habitable.

“The island can certainly be described as well-connected – as well as a daily flight from Kirkwall - the capital of Scotland’s Orkney Islands – to Stronsay (the small town directly opposite the Holm of Huip), it is also possible to make the short journey (approx. one and a half hours) via ferry.”

Shetland has recently been voted the second-best Scottish island to live on by respondents of a survey by the consumer organisation Which.

It was beaten only by Orkney – and surpassing some 800 others around the country, thanks to its five-star offering of peace and quiet.

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Homes in Shetland have historically been more affordable than in many other rural and coastal parts of mainland Scotland - but the the gap is closing.

The scenic destination – which was in the spotlight as the location for Ann Cleaves’ eponymous crime novel, adapted for television by the BBC – is increasing in popularity among homebuyers.

The Walker Fraser Steele Acadata House Price Index (Scotland) found that the average house price for May was £203,811, having risen by 11% across the year - but there was a 0.1% (£250) monthly drop.

Aberdeen City sas the largest monthly rise in prices in May on the mainline with the typical home now worth £193,355, a rise of 3.7% in a month and 8.9% across a year.

The big price rise was seen in detached properties, assisted by the sale of a detached home for £837,500, on an estate near to the Rubislaw Quarry. Although the quarry is no longer operational, it once was a major source of granite for the construction industry, and is the reason for the naming of Aberdeen as The Granite City”.

The biggest monthly house price drop in Scotland was felt in Perth and Kinross (-4.3%) and Angus (-4.1%).

The cheapest place to buy a home in Scotland is East Ayrshire where the average home is worth £134,504 and where prices have fallen by 1.9% in a month, followed by Inverclyde (£139,800).

The priciest local authority area to live remains the City of Edinburgh where the average home price £315,517 Alan Penman, business development manager at Walker Fraser Steele, said that the number of house purchases had slowed as people made a concerted effort to take advantage of a tax break.

March was the last month for a temporary cut in Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland, reducing tax bills by up to £2,100.

He said the impact of the tax holiday should not be underestimated with thenumber of sales in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year up by 39%.

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He said the fall in house prices should be seen the overall context of an “otherwise very resilient Scottish housing market”.

He said: “Many people will be wondering what next for Scottish house prices. The summer traditionally brings good tidings for sellers and buyers as longer days and better weather often means more viewings.

Combined with a lack of overall supply, increased competition for the homes that are available can support values. But this market is unique and our collective confidence in the national response to the pandemic and appetite to continue moving as a nation at the current rate will underpin what happens next.”