Welcome to the Outer Hebrides - It's the Hottest Spot in Scotland; Property Prices Soar as Families Swap the Rat Race for an Island Dream
Byline: GREIG CAMERON
FOR generations, people have left the Western Isles to seek their fortune on the mainland.
But today the tide is turning as a new wave of island immigrants tries to escape the rat race.
The resultant property boom has boosted prices by more than 40 per cent in the Outer Hebrides in the past two years.
Properties are changing hands so quickly there are not enough homes to satisfy demand. The shortage has sparked a building frenzy on many of the 66 islands.
Large country houses that cost under six figures two years ago are now going for [pounds sterling]250,000 - prices more associated with Edinburgh.
The BBC series Castaway, set on Taransay, has helped to raise the There are daily flights from Glasgow and Edinburgh, but islanders believe most people are attracted by the unique Hebridean way of life and the stunning scenery.
Stornoway lawyer and estate agent Ken MacDonald described the rise in prices as 'astronomical'.
He said: 'I have never seen anything like it. For 30 years the market was static and it was difficult to move properties.
'We always thought we would never see a six-figure house here; now homes are fetching [pounds sterling]250,000.
People phone up to make offers without even bothering to come and see what they are buying.
'Traditionally, country properties were notoriously hard to move but anything with a sea view is selling really quickly. …