A LEADING estate agent is predicting a property boom in and around Galashiels on the back of the Great Tapestry of Scotland.

Galbraith has already reported strong housing sales for the second quarter this year across the Scottish Borders.

And the firm estimates further growth in the central Borders due to the regeneration of Galashiels and the creation of the new visitor centre.

Alex Inglis, head of residential sales for Galbraith in the Scottish Borders, told us: "Galashiels will certainly benefit from the new visitor centre for the Great Tapestry of Scotland.

"I understand there will be further exhibition spaces, permanent displays of other works of art in the centre and a new landscaped footpath leading from the train station.

"This a very welcome regeneration project, likely to increase visitors to Galashiels and interest in the town as a tourist destination, with an associated boost to the property market.

"Galashiels is a natural home for the tapestry - textile manufacturers were, historically, the main employers in the town."

Galbraith's report for the second quarter of 2018 (April to June) shows that sales increased by eight percent year-on-year in the Scottish Borders.

In and around Kelso, sales rocketed by 30 percent quarter on quarter, with property viewings increasing by 42 percent compared with the previous quarter.

In and around Galashiels viewings rose by 20 percent year on year.

Mr Inglis added: "Currently, the houses which sell the fastest are those in good locations which are also affordable.

"We see very strong demand for pretty country cottages throughout the region – especially those which have a paddock. Bungalows in central locations are also selling well.

"The Scottish Borders remains a very desirable place to live due to the beauty of the scenery, proximity to Edinburgh and the improved rail links from Tweedbank to Edinburgh.

"Melrose was voted the best place to live in Scotland by the Sunday Times earlier this year due to a variety of factors including good local schools and a wide range of shops. Melrose is one of several lovely historic towns – Jedburgh, Kelso and Duns are others which are wonderful places to live and property continues to sell well.”

Work will start on the new Tapestry Visitor Centre later this year.

Once open, it is expected to attract more than 50,000 visitors each year as well as support 16 jobs.