Blog: Healthy increases in rents make Glasgow an attractive proposition for buy-to-let investors

Neil Livingstone
Neil Livingstone

Neil Livingstone is a director at Douglas Dickson Property Management Limited.


Landlords have been heard saying that yield and capital gains are less important than remaining cash-flow neutral - that is, where a tenant pays the mortgage and, at the end of the mortgage period, the investor owns the property for what is essentially the cost of the deposit.

One place, however, where rental income still remains an attractive proposition in its own right is Glasgow, where properties are much more affordable than elsewhere and rental ratios are keeping their heads up.

This is in marked contrast to other UK areas - particularly already overheated markets such as London and the South East - where rental income on low-yielding properties is likely to be lower relative to investors’ mortgage costs.

The recent quarterly rental report by Citylets found that rents in Scotland as a whole had increased 2.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the previous 12 months. In the Glasgow metropolitan area, the increase was higher at 4.6 per cent in the year, with one-bedroom properties rising even faster at 8.8 per cent.

In real money, that makes the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom property now £546, with a two-bedroom property on average renting out for £721 and three-bedroom going on average for £991 a month.

There is evidence that almost every flat which becomes available for rent in Glasgow is attracting between eight to ten individual applicants, and agents are having to turn away potential quality tenants.

Some agents are even reporting that landlords in Edinburgh - itself a hotspot - are being attracted to Glasgow because it offers better value. Yes, rents are lower, but so are prices, so returns remain beguiling.

Our view at Douglas Dickson is that there continues to be a real shortage of supply of good quality, well managed rental properties in the Glasgow area and a high tenant demand.

Douglas Dickson is achieving rent increases for its landlords and renting most properties back-to-back without any void periods. This is good news for landlords and for those who are considering becoming landlords in Glasgow.

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