Hello – and welcome to this new property commentary focused on the West End of Glasgow.
The city’s property market continues to perform strongly, with many more buyers than available properties – making it a good time for sellers. According to new studies, the West End of Glasgow’s property market is actually the strongest in the UK.
Just look at the figures. West End prices are forecast to rise by 19 per cent over the next five years. In comparison, the rest of Scotland is expected to rise by 14 per cent and the UK by 17 per cent. Average prices here are around £235,000, compared to the Scottish average of £169,000.
So what’s driving these increases in the local market? Well, industry professionals believe it’s down to the central location of these neighbourhoods – their proximity to offices, schools and an array of entertainment and cultural venues, restaurants and bars.
They offer something for everyone from first-time buyer, to families, to those looking to invest in an exclusive townhouse.
But what we consider as “West End” is changing. Up-and-coming enclaves outside the traditional West End region are benefiting from the Glasgow West End effect.
Finnieston in particular is seeing the same positive price increases and popularity as its neighbours due to the rapid increase in amenities and bars and restaurants that have been established there recently.
A recent study by property website Zoopla concluded that property value in Finnieston has increased by 20 per cent in the past five years.
It’s actually been ranked as one of the Top 10 ‘hipster hotspots’ in the UK – trendy areas that are attractive to buyers.
“So what’s driving these increases in the local market?
“Well, industry professionals believe it’s down to the central location of these neighbourhoods – their proximity to offices, schools and an array of entertainment and cultural venues, restaurants and bars.
“They offer something for everyone from first-time buyer, to families, to those looking to invest in an exclusive townhouse.”
Meanwhile, Brexit continues to occupy people’s thoughts when they’re thinking about buying or selling. But the good news is that it doesn’t appear to have had any appreciable impact on the property market.
While it may feature in discussions, property sales figures since last June suggest that it’s not influencing people’s decisions either way. Despite widespread media coverage, the market has continued to perform well both in Glasgow and Scotland as a whole.
It’s still an evolving situation – Article 50 has not yet been triggered and there will, inevitably, be further twists and turns in the story as we move ever closer to the UK withdrawing from the EU.
Amid all these factors, the influence of online selling in the property market continues apace. Outdated high street estate agencies are losing an increasing share of the business to hybrid businesses like Walker Wylie as customers vote with their feet.
In the first of a series of monthly reports on the UK property market, Credit Suisse said that online agents were out-performing the high street in growing the number of sales.
We recently sold a property on Kirklee Terrace which is one of the most desirable addresses in the West End and where property is in hot demand. The seller received quotes from several local estate agents and was astonished at the potential costs which, in virtually every case, amounted to more than £3000 + VAT.
She was surprised when we said we would offer the same service as the high street agencies but at a fraction of the cost – just £894 – but she decided to place her faith in us. We’re delighted to say that we sold the property in less than 2 weeks for a figure which was well in excess of the Home Report value and the clients expectations.
With spring in the air, we approach what is regarded by the industry as the best time of the year to sell your property. Our advice to people thinking of selling is to speak to an estate agent and to get your property on the market ahead of the Easter break.
Remember that around 98 per cent of people buy a property after seeing it online and a lot of browsing is generally done while they’re on holiday.
Thanks for reading this commentary. I will be back next month with more observations and advice on the West End property scene.
* Barry Walker has worked for more than ten years in Glasgow’s property industry. The last five years have been spent working in the West End of Glasgow where he lives. During this time, he worked as an area director for a leading independent estate agency. Barry set up Walker Wylie with his business partner Stuart Wylie last year. The pair say they “strive to deliver local knowledge, experience and the personal touch to online estate agency”. For more information visit http://www.walkerwylie.co.uk