Where to Buy - That is the Question? 1st Jun 2015

The UK has reached its highest levels of employment since records began, with Edinburgh seeing the fastest growth of all cities. According to the jobs posting website CV-Library, Edinburgh saw a 79% increase in the number of job postings for April compared with the same month in 2014. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, and the most prosperous outside of London, whist enjoying lower labour and property costs. As such, Edinburgh frequently ranks highly for investment attractiveness.

Financial Times fDi Magazine has named Edinburgh as the "Best Mid-Sized European City of the Future" and "Best Foreign Direct Investment Strategy (Mid-Sized City)" for 2014/15.

Where there are jobs, there is demand for rented properties. A bumper year is predicted for the buy-to-let market, driven by changing attitudes to renting. Rental is buoyant as demand outstrips supply, and as a result rents continue to rocket to record highs.

Now is a great time to invest in buy-to-let properties, and it would be wise to consider areas surrounding Edinburgh, as well as Edinburgh itself. Midlothian, East Lothian, West Lothian, Falkirk district and the Scottish Borders are all worth investigating, where deals are to be had, giving you higher yield properties. With all property investment opportunities, you need to consider what is important to you – rental yield, or capital growth (see newsletter article The Basics of Buy-to-Let for more information).

Towns surrounding Edinburgh are rich in heritage, have great local amenities, and no shortage of wide open spaces. Better value accommodation and a more leisurely pace of life are highly appealing to many.

Business analysts are suggesting that Scotland's Central Belt is set to be one of world's richest business hubs with 7 million residents by 2025. It has the highest population density within Scotland, thus presenting itself as an ideal buy-to-let investment area. There are great transport links throughout, with easy access to road and rail networks, as well as the major airports. Towns throughout Central Scotland, such as Falkirk, Bo’ness, Grangemouth, Linlithgow, Livingston, and Bathgate present some fantastic buy-to-let opportunities.

Economically, Midlothian is flourishing, with strong representations in the science and service sectors, alongside other traditional strengths such as construction. An application has been submitted for planning permission for a major film and TV studio, to be located in Midlothian, generating employment, and massive investment in the area. Towns such as Penicuik, Dalkeith, Gorebridge, Newtongrange, Bonnyrigg, Straiton, Lasswade, and Loanhead are worth exploring for buy-to-let opportunities. And with the creation of the new Borders Railway, commuter towns en route stand to enjoy significant growth. Midlothian is ideally placed for road access to the A720 city-bypass; Edinburgh’s international airport is 9 miles away via the bypass, with Glasgow a 50-minute drive to the west along the M8. Public transport links supply both Edinburgh and Glasgow, and beyond.

East Lothian is an area rich in buy-to-let investment. Towns such as Musselburgh, Tranent, Haddington, Prestonpans, Dunbar, East Linton , Gullane, Longniddry and North Berwick present an easy commute to the major cities. The relocation of Queen Margaret University to East Lothian boosted the economy to the tune of an estimated £77 million. It is one of the largest employers in the area. Furthermore, there are now in excess of 5,000 students, looking for accommodation. Officially the sunniest place in Scotland, and with miles of stunning coastline and a wealth of golf courses, it is easy to understand why people would choose to live in East Lothian.

The Scottish Borders offers an environment that attracts people and businesses to live and work there. Revenue streams include niche manufacturing (in textiles particularly), tourism, construction, creative industries, farming and food and drink. In growing the value of the economy, the Scottish Borders are heavily investing in maximising their location at the hub of economic activity in the Carlisle-Edinburgh-Newcastle triangle of city regions.

Commuters to the major cities enjoy everything a rural lifestyle can bring, along with good transport connectivity, which will be further enhanced by the new Borders Railway. Towns such as Kelso, Galashiels, Hawick, Duns, Coldstream, Jedburgh, Selkirk, Melrose and Peebles are popular and therefore worth investigating. On the basis of total return (yield and capital growth), many parts of the Scottish Borders now look attractive for buy-to-let investment.

The Key Place operates in all of the above areas and has local expertise which can help inform your buy-to-let decisions. Call us now for a chat about investment opportunities.