Where next to invest? We profile the world’s top property hotspots, detailing everything an investor needs to know.

The Essentials

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House Prices
House prices in Glasgow rose 5.7% in 2016 (Hometrack).
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Scottish rents rose 4% year-on-year in January 2017 (Your Move).
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Overseas investors accounted for 80% of all Scottish property investment in 2016 (Savills)

Where is it?

Located in the West of Scotland, Glasgow is the largest city in the country – and one of the largest in the United Kingdom. Two hours’ drive from Edinburgh, or a one-hour train ride, the city is a vibrant metropolis that combines a lively nightlife with its River Clyde backdrop and an earthy sense of history that sets it apart from other places.

Who lives there?

Half a million people live in Glasgow. Called Glaswegians, they are considered some of the friendliest people in the UK – and that, combined with the lively local culture, has long since helped Glasgow to overcome its negative reputation of many years ago. Today, it’s a city that makes up a significant part of the Scottish economy – together with Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness, Perth and Stirling, Glasgow makes up for 45 per cent of all employment in Scotland.

Glaswegians are proud of their heritage, but they are a welcoming bunch: there is a small but vibrant expat community, while the city also has a very large student population, thanks to the four universities within 10 miles of the city centre. The latter makes Glasgow a popular choice for buy-to-let investors seeking strong yields away from the saturated UK capital or other regional cities.


Why invest?

Glasgow may not be the first location you think of when someone says “the UK” or even “Scotland”, but that is why Scotland’s largest city is such a big draw for investors: property is affordable compared to the more expensive markets of Edinburgh and London, which means that the return on investment is higher. Price growth, rental yields and a resilient economy are all reasons to look east of the capital.

Capital growth is one of the biggest factors for those choosing to invest in Glasgow’s property market. The city is famous for featuring in the film Trainspotting, but it is equally known for its rising property values. Since Danny Boyle’s film was released in the 1990s, property prices in the city have risen an impressive 194 per cent, according to Halifax.

Values have climbed by only 13 per cent since the post-financial crisis lows, according to Hometrack, but that means that potential remains for strong future capital growth. Indeed, in July 2017, according to Your Move, Glasgow real estate saw prices reach a new peak of £146,965, up 6.2 per cent year-on-year. In 2016 overall, house prices rose 5.7 per cent, far ahead of Scotland’s national average of 1.5 per cent.

Glasgow has also been named one of the UK’s top buy-to-let hotspots of recent years, thanks, in part, to its large student population. Scotland’s rental market has enjoyed a positive start to 2017, with rents up 4 per cent in the last year, according to Your Move. While rents slipped by 0.9 per cent in Glasgow, yields remain at the same level as in 2016, despite the changing landscape and rising costs for buy-to-let investors. Indeed, Glasgow properties tend to be below the price threshold for the higher rate of Land Buildings Transaction Tax, which helps to mitigate the 3 per cent LBTT surcharge for buy-to-let purchases.

The result is a city that has become popular with investors, both domestic and overseas. Last week, Glasgow sent 10 people to MIPIM in Cannes to court international investment, with the City Council saying that in the last five years, foreign capital has helped to create 1,000 jobs.

Indeed, Glasgow’s economy remains notably vibrant, forecast to grow by 1.3 per cent between 2016 and 2019, bucking the slowdown predicted for Scotland as a whole. Vita Glasgow’s 2.9-acre development of student housing and the £3.5 million regeneration at Polmadie are signs of the city’s ongoing growth, which builds upon its existing appeal to house-hunters, tenants and investors alike.

Sales are property are therefore rising at an impressive rate: according to the Registers of Scotland, residential transactions jumped 8.5 per cent year-on-year in September 2016. The city’s growing presence on the global real estate stage even saw A Place in the Sun launch its first ever property show in Scotland there in 2016.

Overseas investors, meanwhile, are drawn to Glasgow’s commercial opportunities as well as its residential market. According to Knight Frank, over two-thirds of investment in Scottish commercial property came from abroad, with Savills reporting that international investors made up 28 per cent of spending on Glasgow’s commercial real estate last year.

Most of all, Scotland’s housing market is very resilient, with steady growth in prices recorded since June 2016, thanks to a gradual but consistent increase. With prices forecast to keep growing, rental yields holding steady and property still affordable, Glasgow may be the market of choice for investors seeking to avoid the uncertainty of Brexit.

Who’s Investing?

Ultra High Net Worth Individuals and institutions are big players in the city’s larger developments and regeneration work, while individual investors range from UK landlords to US buyers capitalising on the dollar’s strength and European investors from cities such as Germany.

Agents say…

“Resilient, affordable and with strong potential for capital growth and buy-to-let yields, Glasgow is a city not to be overlooked.”


Find out more:

View all properties for sale in Glasgow