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Why you should keep an eye on Glasgow’s property market

One could argue that Glasgow is the second capital city of Scotland. While Edinburgh is seen as the cultural and historic capital, Glasgow is its newer, bigger and above all, cheaper counterpart.

Glasgow is bigger in terms of economy and population and therefore has a large, diverse property market. This article will offer some insights into Glasgow as a city and discuss what to look out for when investing in Scotland.

low angle view of building with People make Glasgow billboard

Why Glasgow?

As of today, Glasgow has an urban population of around 1.8 million and this number is constantly growing. It holds the largest economy in Scotland and ranks 4th largest economy in the UK (source: Centre for Cities). Its economy is diverse and emergent, directly contributing to Glasgow’s rapid modernisation and growth. A good example of this is the Clyde Waterfront, a regeneration project started in the 2000’s and the upcoming, ambitious cross-city metro system. The city already features a subway service, which is something to look out for when investing as good transport links can make a world of a difference.

With its two universities, Glasgow is also one of the biggest student cities in the UK, meaning that setting up an HMO there is bound to be a worthwhile investment. Although Edinburgh is the culture capital, this doesn’t mean that Glasgow has none. Far from that, Glasgow is a vibrant city with many great art amenities, including plenty of museums, galleries, theatres and venues amongst others.

Finally, Glasgow is deemed to be one of the cheapest cities in the UK in regard to property (source: hometrack.com). Despite it being cheap, it is also a fast-growing, evolving market which can be very profitable if understood correctly. As of July 2020, the average property in Glasgow costs around £119,100. That is around £98,400 cheaper than the UK’s national average of £217,500 and almost a quarter of £475,000, or the price of an average property in London. As for the Scottish comparison, Edinburgh’s average property goes for £229,100 These numbers show just how accessible and affordable Glasgow’s property market truly is – for one property in Edinburgh, you could get two in Glasgow and for one property in London, you could potentially buy four in Glasgow!

According to citylets.co.uk, the average rent in Glasgow is around £771 and the average time to let is around 31 days. One bedroom lettings start at £597, 2 bedrooms at £787, 3 bedrooms at £1,112 and 4 bedrooms at £1,486.

What to look out for:

If you are willing to invest in Glasgow, make sure to look out for the slight differences between Scotland and England when it comes down to buying and selling property.

Here are 7 things to look out for:

1. Buying and selling property is conducted by solicitors on one’s behalf.

2. There is no such thing as gazumping. In other words, a seller cannot accept an oral offer on the property from one potential buyer, but then accept a higher offer from someone else. As solicitors deal with the selling and buying of property, it makes it difficult for gazumping to occur.

3. Properties are usually listed at a higher price. Again, due to the fact that solicitors replace estate agents in the Scottish context, the offers are made over the property’s real price and buyers subsequently bid for the property.

4. Sellers must provide a Home Report. A home report is a detailed account and description of the properties’ features and energy ratings amongst others.

5. There is no stamp duty. The stamp duty was replaced by the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) in 2012. It only applies to properties above £145,000 as opposed to £125,000 in England.

6. The missives are legally binding. The missives are the formal written exchanges between a buyer and a seller’s solicitors.

7. Buy to let landlords must join the landlord registration scheme. (See the Scottish Landlord Register for more information).

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