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Buying Scotland

Billionaire Danish fashion magnate, Anders Holch Povlsen, has become the second-largest private landowner in Britain with the purchase of the 20,000 acre Gaick estate in Inverness-shire.

 Povlsen already owns the Glenfeshie, Ben Loyal and Kinloch estates, has increased the 43-year-old's land portfolio in Scotland to around 150,000 acres. It is second only to that of the Buccleuch Estates, with an estimated 280,000 acres. He has been criticised in some quarters for mounting a "land grab" of Scotland to take advantage of farming subsidies.

Rob Gibson MSP, a member of the Scottish Government's Land Reform Review Group, told The Herald:"It will be interesting to see what plans this gentleman has in terms of biodiversity and the local community. Some estates are used as private kingdoms by their owners..."

Povlsen, whose family owns Bestseller, the Danish fashion company that last year had a turnover of £2bn, also has substantial farming interests in h…

Gone Fishin'

A mile long stretch of river with an average catch is 135 fish a year, plus one wooden hut, and a £1 million pound price.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/world-famous-salmon-beat-could-be-yours-for-1m-1.1133005

"...It is great owning your own stretch of water and being able to bring your family and friends for a day’s fishing.” - William Jackson, the agent

Is this land your land?

Aristocrats and government bodies still dominate ownership of Scotland.

Half of Scotland is owned by just 500 people, few of whom are actually Scots.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/who-owns-scotland-1320933.html

Only 1 per cent of the 19 million acres of land in Scotland has passed into the control of local communities.
http://www.scotsman.com/news/so_who_owns_scotland_1_1153636

Currently, about half of Scotland is in the possession of 608 landowners and 10% of Scotland is owned by just eighteen of them. 6% of Scotland is currently owned overseas, primarily by private individuals. "Public" ownership of the land had reached a total of 16.8% of Scotland by 1998
http://www.cairngormsmoorlands.co.uk/moorland_land_ownership.htm

At present, of the rural land (94% of the total) 83.1% of this is privately held. Here, just 969 people, in a country of 5.2 million people, control 60% of it.
http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/07/24/the-inequality-rarely-mentioned-in-westminster-s…

A wee butt and ben?

Hailed as "one of the finest sporting estates in Scotland" and will become the most expensive estate sold on the open market if it meets its extravagant guide price, Millden, a vast estate situated in the heart of the Angus glens, long famed for their grouse moors, has been put on the market for an eye-catching £17.5 million.

Stretching to nearly 20,000 acres, the estate has entertained kings and prime ministers over the years and is described by CKD Galbraith, property agents to the gentry, as the "Holy Grail" of grouse shooting. Located near the village of Edzell, Millden was the first of the sporting lodges built for the Earls of Dalhousie on their Glen Esk estate in the Regency period. Shortly before the beginning of the Second World War King George VI and then prime minister Neville Chamberlain enjoyed a week's shooting.

Along with three recently-improved moors spanning more than 10,000 acres, fishing rights to eight miles of the River North Esk, a…

Rich Scotland

Scotland's million-pound-plus property market is bucking the trend as wealthy foreign buyers snap up prime residential homes across the country. Georgian townhouses in Edinburgh, properties within putting distance of a golf course in St Andrews and Highland sporting estates are particularly in demand by international buyers.

Figures released by the selling agents Savills yesterday show the top end of the property market performing well, with 146 high-value homes costing £1 million or more selling in 2010, compared with 106 in 2009. Sales at £1 million and more during the first six months of this year were up by a third on last year, from 50 to almost 70.


Fore!!

A street of unassuming terraces in St Andrews will this week cement their reputation as a millionaire's row when a double upper flat goes on the market for £1.75 million. Its panoramic views across the famous Old Course and its hallowed 18th green - where Open Championships are won and lost - have brought the 2011 valuation of the three-bedroom property with no garden that will only appeal to the very wealthy. Just a few yards away, luxury apartments in the Hamilton Grand, a former St Andrews University halls of residence being redeveloped by American billionaire Herb Kohler, start from £1.35m. Some of the properties do not even have a view of the Old Course but are still highly prized for their location at the centre of the traditional Home of Golf.

The last home to be sold on The Links, which changed hands for almost £4m last year, became the priciest property per square foot in Scotland at £1,350, putting it among the most expensive property markets in the world, such as London…

House Prices

Savills , the estate agent and consultancy group said demand for “super prime” houses continued to rise strongly, with interest coming from international as well as UK purchasers.

The super prime residential market – houses costing £5m or more in London and large country houses – was continuing to benefit from City bonuses but was also “heavily influenced” by international buyers who accounted for about half of purchases.

They are , of course , the people who are largely unaffected if the interest rate goes up . But for the rest of us mere mortals there has been a “a cooling of the UK mainstream” market and some oversupply of new homes, especially flats, in provincial cities .

For a fuller analyse of the property boom and the probability of the bubble bursting read here

It rambles on

Further to an earlier post Lord Smith of Finsbury, the president of the Ramblers Association, has attacked the court decision to limit access to the countryside near Ann Gloag's home has indeed hit the nail on the head .

"Much of the land Mrs Gloag wants to fence off can't even be seen from the castle itself. This is more about privilege than it is about privacy...Even more disturbing is the reason Sheriff Fletcher gave for his decision. He said that it was because Mrs Gloag was wealthy and had a high profile that she was entitled to a higher degree of protection. This sounds to me very like one law for the rich and another for the poor..."

Mrs Gloag, who along with her brother Brian founded the Stagecoach bus company, is worth an estimated £395m .

Why should Lord Smith be so surprised . The law has always favoured the wealthy and the powerful . We at Socialist Courier don't expect that to change .