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Huntly in property website's top ten of most searched for locations in 2021


By Pat Scott

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THE property website Rightmove has named Huntly in its top 10 of “most searched for” in 2021.

The Square.
The Square.

Huntly came seventh on the UK list showing an increase of 54 per cent in online property searches compared with 2020.

According to the report, the pandemic has encouraged people to think about moving out of towns and cities for more space and open countryside.

Huntly Castle.
Huntly Castle.

Huntly, with a population of 4116 and only an hour’s drive from Aberdeen, is seen by home buyers as the perfect location in Scotland. Last year, in a similar report, Huntly was named as one of the most desirable locations in Aberdeenshire.

The river Deveron.
The river Deveron.

Only two of the locations on Rightmove’s top ten are in Scotland. One place below Huntly in eighth position was Millport, the only town on the Isle of Cumbrae, off the Ayrshire coast.

London is historically the most searched-for location on Rightmove, however, in January and February 2021, and then from May until September, Cornwall took the top position.

Aberdeenshire Councillor, Gwyneth Petrie says the listing is good news for Huntly and believes a combination of factors helped it achieve the high position.

She said: “The distance to Aberdeen or Elgin has become less of an issue for commuters, with the ‘new normal’ of flexible working and working from home.

“A lot of work has been done over the last few years to improve a number of areas in the town and whilst there is still much to be done, a number of these projects are now coming to fruition, and the real community input is a huge benefit to the town.

“Finally – Huntly has a great community spirit, and it has been widely reported on after a number of situations. That strong sense of community and the support available is hugely welcoming, and will attract people to move to the town.”

Marketing manager for the Experience Huntly app which promotes local businesses and activities, Vivienne Rae said the high listing was not a surprise.

She said: "Located on the edge of the popular Speyside whisky trail, abundant with history, nature and wildlife, and home to a number of valued producers which contribute to Scotland’s rich larder, it’s no surprise that Huntly has attracted interest as a desirable destination for house buyers.

"The road and rail links make Aberdeen and Inverness easily accessible for commuters, whilst Huntly itself offers an idyllic rural setting for home life.

"There are also many developments and business projects currently underway in the town, which further add to its attractiveness now and for the future."

Deveron Projects have contributed to the regeneration of the town centre through their development of Square Deal. A spokeswoman said: "It's really clear through our work that the community cares a great deal about the town, the people in it and how it develops. This sense of place and pride manifests into exciting projects, new businesses, collaboration and care for one another, making Huntly the dynamic town that it is, and a great place to live."

Donald Boyd, manager at Huntly Development Trust believes a combination of things have led to Huntly's seventh position nationally.

He said: "I think there's a general desire to move to rural areas, perhaps especially by those with family ties to the area.

"Huntly's in a great location, close to an airport, on a train line, the A96, near the coast and the Cairngorms National Park and is on the drier, midge free side of Scotland with an attractive landscape.

"I’d also like to think that it’s partly due to the active nature of our community. The great community energy and spirit of many individuals and groups here would be a really attractive reason to move. This would include the work of Deveron Projects and Huntly Development Trust in recent years in both making physical improvements to the area and raising Huntly’s wider profile.

"Whether that is the case or not, we’d have to ask those that have either searched or even better actually moved here."

Gordon Street, Huntly.
Gordon Street, Huntly.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data said: “Our search data gives us real-time insight into what buyers are looking for from their next home, and the areas that are attracting future movers.

“It also gives us a unique understanding of how current events and culture can inspire people to imagine the life that could be in a new area, from countryside living in the Cotswolds inspired by the ‘Clarkson’s Farm’ TV show.”


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