Edinburgh and Glasgow set for thousands more homes amid build-to-rent property boom

Edinburgh and Glasgow’s build-to-rent property markets are set for significant growth, with thousands more homes in the offing, new research suggests.

The Edinburgh pipeline extends to 3,500 new build-to-rent (BTR) homes, adding to some 650 BTR properties currently complete and letting up. Meanwhile Glasgow’s development pipeline will create a further 2,800 homes as the city continues to benefit from “sustained inward investment” on the back of the COP26 summit last autumn.

The growth in Edinburgh’s BTR market is likely to prove timely, according to the research from property consultancy JLL.

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Scotland’s capital is forecast to see a 6 per cent increase in its population by 2030, equating to an additional 30,000 people. This will put further pressures on housing delivery in what is already a restricted and “highly competitive” land market, the study notes.

Glasgow is expected to become a “regional BTR hotspot” due to its favourable demographics, positive economic conditions and a “critical” shortage of high-quality city centre accommodation.

According to JLL’s figures, developers “seeking value” in Scotland and regional markets in England currently have 20,000 BTR homes under construction and a further 30,000 with planning consent - eclipsing London’s 30,000-strong pipeline of homes.

Makela Milne, director at JLL in Edinburgh, said: “Despite a slower emergence of build-to-rent in Scotland, the Edinburgh market is gaining real momentum. The city now has a number of assets offering professionally managed, modern accommodation with the benefit of on-site amenities such as gyms and co-working spaces.

“The recent launch of The McEwan by Moda Living has further proven that there is high demand for quality rental accommodation, with both rents and take-up rates surpassing expectations. Edinburgh has an undersupply of new housing and high levels of skilled employment and graduate retention, and these fundamentals will support further growth in the BTR sector.”

Towards the end of last year, a partnership between build-to-rent pioneer Moda Living, investor Osborne + Co and MRP, the property development and investment division of construction company McAleer & Rushe, submitted an outline planning application for the development of a four-acre site at Lancefield Quay, Glasgow.

Nina Stobie, director at JLL in Glasgow, added: “After all eyes were on Glasgow in 2021, the city is now experiencing a record period of inward investment and is being recognised as a world class business destination.

“Summer 2022 will see the launch of Glasgow’s first BTR development of scale - Drum Property Group’s long awaited Buchanan Wharf development. Buchanan Wharf will introduce much needed, well managed product into the city and we expect take-up will be strong.

“There is a strong interest in Glasgow as an investment destination for BTR and this is reflected in recent market growth. Favourable market fundamentals mean Glasgow will continue to attract both domestic and overseas capital in the medium-term and beyond.”

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Separately, a new report shows that supply pressures in the Scottish residential property market are starting to ease with demand remaining strong.

Landmark Information Group’s latest market data paints an encouraging picture for home-movers as supply pressures continue to ease following the lifting of Covid restrictions – despite demand variance remaining consistently ahead of trend since the start of 2022.

The firm’s second-quarter property trends report shows the property market is bouncing back to 2019 levels, with supply improving in June as listing volumes recovered.

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