Property consultants say the Aberdeen bypass could boost the north-east housing market.
Hannah Christiansen, the residential lead at the Aberdeen office of Galbraith, said the opening of the AWPR will help link communities that were more remote, thus increasing their desirability.
Ms Christiansen said: “The opening of the AWPR will really open up the whole region and desirable homes, which were perhaps in rather isolated locations, will now be within commuting distance of the city.
“This is likely to have a significant positive effect on the market.”
Property expert Aberdein Considine has also said the number of applications for more remote areas has increased in recent times, with more people looking at houses in the north and south of the city.
Robert Fraser, a senior partner at Aberdein Considine, said: “In recent months we’ve been seeing applicants searching a wider area for property, with north and south of the city being strongly considered.”
However, Mr Fraser did say that the full extent of the effects from the bypass would not be known until its official opening, slated for autumn this year.
He said: “While it’s possibly a little early to identify the full impact of the AWPR, it’s reasonable to attribute some of this to the near-completion of the route and, ultimately, the improvement in access to north and south of Aberdeen this should bring.”
That sentiment was echoed by John McRae, chairman of solicitors and estate agents ASPC, who said: “I don’t want to sound negative about it because the market’s been in a poor way since the oil price dropped.
“It is generally the case that when new roads are put in place, then development tends to happen along them.
“It may be a little over-optimistic because my view is that where the road provides benefits, it will help house values nearby.
“Where it doesn’t provide benefits, then it doesn’t necessarily affect the housing market.”
Mr McRae pointed to areas like Kingswells and Bridge of Don as being ones that could see a jump in prices following the completion of the AWPR.
He said: “Houses in Kingswells, for instance, they’re going to have much better links to the north and south of the city because instead of coming into Aberdeen, they can get on to the AWPR and head to the Harbour, Tullos or Altens and that will help them a lot.
“Similarly, in Bridge of Don, they should have much better links into the city.”
The £745 million project, which it is hoped will make travel in the north-east easier, has been beset by various delays. Construction of the road has been held up by bad winter weather, including the so-called Beast from the East, and the collapse of construction firm Carillion, a major partner in the project.
The folding of Carillion led to Galliford Try, another partner, having to fork out a further £25 million towards the project.
The then Scottish Government economy minister Keith Brown told the Scottish Parliament the autumn deadline is still the aim for the complete opening of the bypass – with one section, between Blackdog and Goval, already being open – despite Galliford Try stating it will be complete during the summer.