Inverness housebuilder Tulloch Homes eyes land acquisitions in Highlands and Central Belt

Highlands housebuilder Tulloch Homes is eyeing fresh land acquisitions as it looks to meet “pent-up demand” in the region and beyond.

The Inverness-based firm said prospective land deals were being examined in the Black Isle and Drumnadrochit, as well as a couple of sites in the Central Belt.

Chief executive George Fraser indicated that by the end of this year, the firm will have completed the first 100 homes of its £80 million showpiece Ness Side development in Inverness, with a further 700 homes to be rolled out on this site.

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He said: “Despite being about to begin on a combined £55m investment in new developments at Aviemore and Forres, we are firmly in acquisition mode as far as land is concerned.

George Fraser, chief executive of Tulloch Homes pictured at one of the firm's Inverness developments. Picture: Ewen Weatherspoon

“We’re actively looking at potential sites as we seek to maintain what is already a strong forward land bank.

“All going well, it is hoped to conclude a minimum of one new deal in the autumn, and hopefully more than one by the turn of the year.”

Civil engineering works have begun at Bynack More, Tulloch’s first Aviemore site in 15 years, and work is beginning at Mosset Meadows, the company’s first Forres venture in 20 years.

Fraser added: “The pandemic was an incredibly challenging period for us last year, but we’ve bounced back strongly since construction activity returned to our sites.

“Pent-up demand has led to consistently high levels of house sales – and that is being primarily driven by new market dynamics.

“Lifestyle reassessment in the wake of Covid-19 is a major new factor, an opportunity we’re strongly placed to turn to our advantage. People want green space around or near them, leisure facilities and the technology for homeworking.

“We’re finding homebuyers from the Central Belt and England are relocating to Inverness and the Highlands for quality of life issues.”

Other housebuilders have also reported changing demand patterns in the wake of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions forcing more people to work from home.

Springfield Properties, Scotland’s only listed housebuilder, has reported a strong rebound since it resumed operations with buyers seeking “larger homes, gardens and access to plenty of green space”.

In December, the firm noted: “Since the initial lockdown ended in June [2020], the group experienced strong sales activity both as a result of pent-up demand as well as an increasing desirability for the type of private housing Springfield offers with larger homes, gardens and access to plenty of green space, particularly at its Village developments.”

In May, Stewart Milne Homes said it was targeting some £550m in revenues with the rollout of a new range of homes to meet the “changing needs of buyers”.

The Aberdeen-headquartered group said it was at the forefront of a “step-change” in the design of the communities in which its newly designed homes will be launched.

Stuart Henderson, group product and design director at Stewart Milne, said: “We were undertaking a comprehensive design review of our homes before the pandemic. The enforced lockdown has brought into sharp focus the design and functionality of our homes and accelerated the process.”

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