An array of the world’s top golfers, including World Number One Rory McIlroy, will descend on East Lothian’s shores next month for the Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Course. The tournament is the prelude to The Open which, this year, will see the golfing circus decant itself just 25 miles north to the home of golf in St Andrews a matter of days after the Gullane warm-up concludes.
The Scottish Open is being held in the county for the first time in its history after spending over a decade at Loch Lomond Golf Course and, more recently, Inverness-shire’s Castle Stuart and Royal Aberdeen. Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to attend the event between the 9th and 12th July adding to the usual throng of tourists and locals who make a beeline for North Berwick and everything else the county has to offer during the summer.
Indeed, East Lothian’s popularity shows no sign of abating. House price statistics released by Registers of Scotland in April confirmed that East Lothian recorded the highest percentage rise in average house price in Scotland, up 28.6 percent to £248,902. Meanwhile, the ESPC’s May edition of Market Insights revealed that 99.1% of sales achieved home report valuation; an increase of 1.5% on the same period in 2014. Not quite back to the dizzy heights of 2007/2008 but edging closer.
Gilson Gray spotted the potential for this upward trend and, following my appointment as a property consultant towards the end of 2014, is now investing in the region with a gradual roll out of marketing initiatives. To coincide with The Scottish Open a booking was made in January to secure one of the large advertising billboards overlooking a roundabout next to Longniddry railway station. Whether you follow the coastline hugging A198 through Gullane and Aberlady or adopt the more rural but no less scenic B1377 via Drem, you must negotiate this piece of road.
For two weeks the billboard, known in the advertising industry as a 48-sheet, will be seen by hundreds, possibly thousands, of passing vehicles. The strap line – ‘When you need a big hitter’ – adopted by the firm who designed it, The Covey Agency, is a neat fit with the golfing theme encapsulating Gilson Gray’s multi-service focus and growing market presence.
In April the firm launched a display window at 55 Market Street in Haddington town centre to advertise some of the East Lothian-based properties currently being marketed. The window is the first of its type for the firm and gaining a street presence in the heart of East Lothian’s economic and political centre is a bold move.
With the residential market no longer under par and gradually getting itself into full swing, the challenge now is to build a foundation and establish the Gilson Gray brand in the region. Keep out of the rough and stick to the fairways…as the golfers will say!
The information and opinions contained in this blog are for information only. They are not intended to constitute advice and should not be relied upon or considered as a replacement for advice. Before acting on any of the information contained in this blog, please seek specific advice from Gilson Gray.