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Husband and wife launch online estate agency

Home delights: Celia and Patrick Paton

Former Rettie managing partner, Patrick Paton, and his wife, property marketing specialist Celia Paton, have joined forces to launch an online-only estate agency.

Paton & Co will be run from the couple’s Borders home and will list property on top portals: Rightmove, Zoopla/Prime Location and OnTheMarket, among others.

Mr Paton said: “Instead of a shop window, we will provide enhanced online marketing, which makes perfect sense when 95% of home buyers start their house search online.

“A year ago, we might have been looking for office premises, but recent events have highlighted the possibilities of working from home and using technology more effectively to allow a better work-life balance.

“With two young sons, we know how important that is, which is why we understand clients who are searching for a particular lifestyle as much as a new house.”


Patrick Paton held senior roles with Knight Frank and Smiths Gore before becoming a partner at Rettie.

Mrs Paton’s background is in property marketing and customer service, including heading up the marketing team at estate agent McEwan Fraser Legal. She also established a successful concierge company and a holiday home management company.

East Scotland volumes rise

The first three months of 2021 saw the volume of property sales in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders rise by 55.7% compared to the previous year, according to ESPC data.

In Edinburgh, the sales volume was up by 72.6% compared to the previous year. This reflects how busy the market was in the second half of 2020.

The LBTT holiday coming to an end on 31 March may also have had an impact, as buyers and solicitors looked to complete purchases before that date to take advantage of the saving.

Over the past three months, the number of new homes coming to market is very similar to last year, up by just 0.1%. In Edinburgh, there was a larger increase of 6.4%.

This increase in homes coming to market is concentrated in March – there was a year-on-year decline in February and January.

This may be due to increased confidence from sellers as lockdown restrictions are eased in Scotland, encouraging them to put their home on the market, said ESPC. 

There were also fewer homes than usual put on the market towards the end of last March due to lockdown restrictions, which will also be a factor in the increase. However, the total volume of new listings in March 2021 is slightly up compared to March 2019.

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