Fife can be a mixed bag when it comes to property prices, styles and competitiveness of the market. But its close proximity to Edinburgh makes it a commuters haven, especially for anyone looking for to move on from living in a city centre flat
It is difficult to talk about the Fife housing market at a whole, as perhaps nowhere else in Scotland are there so many disparate parts.
Around the former fishing villages of the East Neuk are charming cottages fought over by downsizers, retirees and second home owners, who are either lured by childhood memories of a traditional British seaside holiday or want a holiday let to take advantage of tourists who take coastal vacations.
Inland are the former mining villages, and properties in these locations can have some of the lowest sale prices in the UK.
They are also the location for some of the housing estates built over the last two decades to offer homes to commuters to Edinburgh and the Central Belt, or north to Dundee.
But it is perhaps the lure of St Andrews that has the biggest gravitational pull on house values in the Kingdom.
The centre of the town, internationally renowned for its university and for being the home of golf, has some of the highest per square foot prices of anywhere in Scotland.
Travel just a few miles outside St Andrews and value for money is much greater.
Of the East Neuk villages, Elie has always been the most popular and therefore most expensive, but neighbouring villages such as Crail and Anstruther are also sought-after and St Monans offers the best value for money for a seaside cottage.
Methil is only a short distance from the pretty fishing villages of the East Neuk, but property there is at the opposite end of the price spectrum.
The activity of the East Neuk market is more closely tied to that of Edinburgh, as many holiday home owners are based in the capital.
So if you're looking to move to the Kingdom, what are the best properties on the market right now?
Where is it: Westray Lodge, Strathkinness Low Road, St Andrews.What is it: A single-storey traditional house with four bedrooms, a sitting room, dining room, dining kitchen and utility room and off-street parking.Good points: A light and airy house with large rooms. The fourth bedroom with ensuite is in one wing so would make a good guest bedroom or could be used as a second sitting room. Very pretty garden with a sheltered suntrap courtyard.Bad points: Its proximity to St Andrews , just a mile and a half away, ups the value.Price: Offers over £565,000.Contact: Savills on 0131 247 3700.
Picture: Slater Hogg & Howison
Where is it: 63 Loughborough Road, Kirkcaldy.What is it: A four-bedroomed semi-detached Victorian villa with garden.Good points: Period features and proportions plus solar panels bringing in income via a feed-in tariff.Bad points: Garden isn’t huge but it is walled and has a workshop garage.Price: Offers over £339,000.Contact: Slater Hogg on 01592 730143.
Where is it: Harvieston, Chapman’s Place, Elie.What is it: Traditional terraced house in popular seaside village with four bedrooms, a living room, separate dining room and a dining kitchen. Private walled garden.Good points: Close to the beach and there is development potential in the floored and lined attic space. Beautifully finished with retained period features.Bad points: No sea view.Price: Offers over £395,000.Contact: Thorntons on 01333 378970.
Where is it: 6 Shorehead, St Andrews.What is it: A four-bedroomed duplex apartment in need of refurbishment. Open-plan kitchen, dining room and sitting room with balcony.Good points: It does need work but it has uninterrupted views of the harbour, pier and East Sand Beach and beyond to the sea.Bad points: Closing date on Monday, 23 April at 12 noon.Price: Offers over £450,000.Contact: Thorntons on 01333 474200.
At Barratt Homes’ developments in Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy there are a number of four-bedroomed homes available which start at under £220,000 – an attractive price range for those moving out of a city flat as the leap in price may well not be huge, while the increase in space will be notable.
Barratt’s Langdale View development, on Newtonmore Drive, Kirkcaldy, is close to the coast.
The town has excellent transport links to both Edinburgh, which is 27 miles away and also Dundee, which is 28 miles to the north, so it is a good midway option for households which commute in different directions.
Kirkcaldy also has a wide range of amenities so is a good consideration for those looking to stay connected but enjoy the benefits of Fife living and being close to the sea.
A four-bedroomed detached Craigievar house type is available from £217,995 and comes with the offer of a Movemaker incentive, which helps buyers sell their old properties by handling all estate agency and marketing fees.
Located to the east of Dunfermline, Barratt’s The Heathers is within walking distance of Fife’s Leisure Park, while the town centre is also close providing a wide selection of shops, restaurants and bars.
Dunfermline has the perfect mix of historical attractions and modern amenities and Edinburgh can be reached in 40 minutes by train.
Three-bedroomed homes are available from £193,995 and so are under the Help to Buy threshold, while the four-bedroomed detached Drummond house type starts from £277,995 and is available with 100 per cent part exchange, taking the stress out of selling an existing home on the open market.
Taylor Wimpey is also building in Dunfermline at Wallace Grange, offering a range of two, three, four and five-bedroomed homes and two-bedroomed apartments to appeal to a wide range of buyers.
Picture: Taylor Wimpey
Located off Dunlin Drive, the development is part of the wider Dunfermline Eastern expansion.
Prices range from £215,000 to £300,000 and there are two showhomes open to public.
Saline is another commuter hotspot in a semi-rural setting.
At The Views, Allanwater Homes has just unveiled three additional house types.
The Cruachan, priced at £220,000, is a three-bedroomed detached bungalow, the Kintyre, is a four-bedroomed detached villa at £285,000, and the Vorlich has five bedrooms over one and a half levels and is priced at £339,995.
Picture: Allanwater Homes
Sharron McCarthy, sales and marketing manager for Allanwater Homes says: “The house types we have chosen as our view homes have attracted a great deal of attention from plan, as they offer flexible layouts which give families many options.”
She believes it is the range of properties available, as well as the accessible location, that has proved attractive to buyers.
“Bungalows are always highly sought-after, so we are delighted to offer the Cruachan.
“Split-level villas such as the Vorlich are very spacious, with the feedback we have had so far telling us that the ground floor shower room is an extremely welcome feature, as is the separate family room.
“The option to have a fifth bedroom as a study in the Vorlich is ideal for those working from home.”
The village of Saline has a Post Office and nine-hole golf course.
Dunfermline is easily accessed, as is Edinburgh and there are transport links across the entire Central Belt but it is far enough out of the metropolis to feel quietly rural, which is an added attraction.