Rents and property prices are on the rise: so is Scotland the next buy-to-let hotspot?

Property prices in Scotland rose in February by 3.3 per cent year on year, according to new figures.

The latest survey from Your Move found that the average property north of the border now fetches £173,862, following a 1.4 per cent monthly increase in February.

First time buyer push

The rise is reportedly being driven by the lower end of the market, with first time buyers accounting for much of the expansion. Sales of higher value properties remain sluggish.

Meanwhile property prices in Edinburgh and Glasgow are both up by 8.4 per cent.

But the most significant rise in prices comes in Stirling, which has seen a 12.2 per cent year-on-year growth in property prices. Na h-Eileanan Siar is up 17.4 per cent, the Shetland Islands by 9.4 per cent, and South Lanarkshire by 8.2 per cent.

Christine Campbell, Scotland managing director for Your Move, said: “First time buyers are continuing to drive the market in Scotland, but the window of opportunity opened up by interest rate cuts last year may be narrowing.

“Tight supply coupled with their demand is pushing up prices across the country.”

Capital appreciation and rents up

Rising property prices could spell good news for landlords looking for capital appreciation in their investment properties. But rents are also rising, meaning that Scotland is looking like an appealing area for buy-to-let.

Rents rose in 17 out of 18 areas in Scotland last year, with West Dunbartonshire experiencing the highest growth at 4.6 per cent.

However, the pattern wasn’t uniform across the country. Dumfries and Galloway saw rents rise by just 0.1 per cent, while Aberdeen and Shire experienced a drop of 13.7 per cent – the largest contraction on record, and attributed to a downturn in the local oil industry.

But rises remain strong in many areas. Lothian has seen the highest five-year rise, with rents for the average two bedroom property increasing over the period by 23.5 per cent.

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