A round-up this week's property news with Beverly Brown

IT seems island life is unbeatable – or at least according to Bank of Scotland’s latest Rural Quality of Life Survey, which shows the Orkney Isles have shot to number one position from 46th place last year due to methodological changes in the survey, which takes in factors such as crime rates, employment rates, traffic volumes, health and schools spending.
However, as the Shetland Isles and the Western Isles took second and third places respectively, there has to be something in it. Scottish Borders came fourth, which gives it the best quality of life accolade for the whole of Britain.
Interestingly, the survey also reveals Orkney has some of smallest houses in Britain, while the biggest homes are in the Western Isles (closely followed by Dumfries and Galloway and Aberdeenshire).
Other snippets reveal East Ayrshire is the best place for Internet access – and also has the lowest CO2 emissions, while the sunniest place in Scotland is East Lothian.
And if you want to make it to a ripe old age, best relocate to Perth & Kinross, where life expectancy is highest.


First arrivals
STEWART Milne Homes has welcomed the owners of the first five homes at its Regency Place development in Aberdeen’s newest community at Countesswells. Amongst those collecting their keys were Peter and Susan Scott, who chose the location for its rural setting, woodland walks and close proximity to Aberdeen city centre. Countesswells is set to ultimately comprises 3,000 homes. The show village at Regency Place is open daily from 11.00am to 5.00pm.

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Love Applecross
THE Applecross peninsular in Wester Ross is one of the most beautiful spots in Scotland, which should give Cuaig Croft a heady marketing edge.  This traditional croft house has been upgraded and refurbished to create an idyllic retreat with sitting room, dining kitchen, bathroom and three bedrooms. Apart from mesmerizing views to Rona, Raasay, Isle of Skye, Hebrides and Torridon, the nearby area also offers trout and sea fishing, a sandy beach and the famous Applecross Inn. Offers over £240,000 are sought by Strutt & Parker, Inverness.


Money for good causes
CALA Homes (West) has launched a £35,000 community bursary initiative across Scotland in a bid to help charities and organisations within the local communities it is building.
The award-winning house builder is inviting local charities, community groups and organisations to apply for a share of the bursary in various regions to help fund projects that will make a difference in and around the local community.
In the West of Scotland, the fund has been split into three regions with Lanarkshire, Glasgow and East Dunbartonshire each receiving £5,000; in East Lothian, £10,000 is available to successful bursary applicants; and in North Scotland, the bursary is already under way with groups selected to receive a share of the £10,000 pot available in and around Aberdeen. Application forms are available at www.cala.co.uk/bursary, applicants must state the amount they would like to secure and what the money will be used for. The deadline for applications in East Lothian is May 19 and in the west, June 9.