Inverness builder reports lockdown ‘bounce back’ with significant rise in sales

George Fraser

TULLOCH Homes has announced the business has experienced a lockdown ‘bounce back’ with July sales up by 25% on last year.

The Inverness-based housebuilder revealed Covid-19 has dampened the celebrations on Tulloch’s 95th anniversary, but chief executive George Fraser reports that ‘brisk’ sales are poised to continue.

“There is clearly pent-up demand and we’re extremely pleased with being 25% up on July 2019,  which is normally a quieter sales period due to people being on holiday,” he said. “All our sites and sales offices have now reopened and most of our people have been un-furloughed, with appropriate safety systems and protocols in place and being respected. We’re grateful to our sub-contractors and supply chain for complying with our anti-virus regime.

“The homes which were unfinished when lockdown arrived have now been completed,  which was our  priority. It’s important to get families into homes they had already invested in. Our Inverness area locations are generating significant demand, including from a volume of prospective purchasers living outside the area, which is interesting.

“We kept registering sales throughout lockdown, which was very encouraging, and this past month has seen deals rapidly settled. Our Fife development at Balgeddie Park, Glenrothes, is now approaching total sellout. As far as Inverness is concerned, estate agents and solicitors are telling us that the second-hand market has turned buoyant, which in turn has triggered new-build sales for us. We see this pattern being maintained in the immediate future.”

With many people working from home this year, Mr Fraser said it ‘clear’ that the ability to have a home office is a ‘key influence’ for some buyers.

He added, “They wish to turn bedroom space into workspace as they see themselves homeworking on a longer-term or semi-permanent basis. Connectivity is extremely important for such buyers and facilitating this will be factored in to our forward design.”

The Maples development is the first of 800 homes Tulloch has consent to build at Ness Side, the largest housebuilding site within Inverness city boundaries.

The company has also underpinned its forward land bank by gaining consent jointly with Persimmon Homes for an £100 million 800-unit development at Brucefields, Stirling. Tulloch has also recently secured planning approval for a new development at Kirkhill, several miles outside Inverness.