Why buying property in Scotland is a good investment

BY Ben West

8th Apr 2024 Property

3 min read

Why buying property in Scotland is a good investment
While property prices in the UK are high, there’s one UK country where the costs are amazing and well worth investing in—Scotland
With press reports of property prices going through the roof in the UK surfacing on an ongoing basis, there’s one country within it where amazing property prices still remain—Scotland.
Although in many areas properties can be pretty pricey—notably Edinburgh and nearby areas, such as the seaside towns of St Andrews and North Berwick—a look at online property portals will reveal numerous properties starting with guide prices currently as little as £19,000. 

Attractive places with good transport links

Portpatrick, Scotland
Scotland possesses vibrant, attractive cities with property prices significantly lower than in England, and unspeakably beautiful rural landscapes. The Scottish rural property market generally offers very good value for money, particularly outside the areas which are easily commutable to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
"The Scottish rural property market generally offers very good value for money"
And with high speed train links, excellent empty roads and flights with low-cost carriers like Ryanair and easyJet, access to Scotland from elsewhere in the UK is excellent.

Weather misconceptions

Scotland is often dismissed because of the perception of cold weather, but certain areas enjoy surprisingly mild temperatures. Morayshire is one of these, and has many similarities with North Devon.
Both are rural and the landscape and general pace of life do not differ that much, and neither areas are particularly commercialised.

Beautiful areas of Scotland

Inverness, Scotland
Dundee is Scotland's sunniest city, with an average of 1,523 hours of sunshine per year, and the Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current, pushes up temperatures on the west coast: it’s not unusual to see palm trees in Argyll. Dumfries and Galloway, situated in the south-western corner of Scotland, are nicknamed "The Scottish Riviera". 
"Dumfries and Galloway, in the south-west of the country, are nicknamed 'The Scottish Riviera'"
The Inverness area is also popular due to having a lot of space and a high quality of life. The most popular Highland properties are traditional and rural and within around 20 miles of Inverness, especially around Nairn, Beauly and the west coast. Traditional cottages near Shieldaig and Plockton are popular areas for holiday homes, as are Lochgilphead in Argyll. Crinan has an attractive harbour and canal, while the pretty loch-side village of Tayvallich is a centre for sailing.
Perthshire is another popular areas being only an hour’s drive from Edinburgh. It is where the stunning highland scenery everyone craves starts.

Holiday homes

Scotland is ideal for investors keen to generate income from holiday lets. Holiday home renters will pay similar rental amounts per week whether the property is in the Cotswolds or Caithness, even though the Scottish property would have typically cost far less to buy.
"Scotland is ideal for investors keen to generate income from holiday lets"
Prospective buyers of Scottish property should be aware that the purchase and conveyancing system is very different from that elsewhere in the UK, and has its own distinct procedures, nuances and terminology.

Offers over

Most properties in Scotland are marketed at “offers over” a certain amount, which means that often they are sold at a higher price than the one quoted. If you are interested in buying one you engage a conveyancing solicitor who will formally note your interest with the selling agent. You are not obliged to buy as yet, but will be informed of when an offer must be made. 
A closing date for the submission of written offers may be set. This often results in you paying ten per cent or more than the asking price—as much as 40 per cent more in some cases—than the asking price, although being gazumped is far less common than in England.
The seller should accept or decline the offers put forward and may not negotiate on price after the closing date. You may want to—or your mortgage company may require—an independent property survey and your formal offer for the property must be submitted by a solicitor.


Lochgilphead in Argyll, Scotland
You will need to have your finances in order before making an offer via a solicitor or estate agent. Negotiations with the seller concerning the property, known as “missives”, may be necessary, and therefore the buyer should be prepared for this possibility.
If your offer is accepted, the seller’s solicitor will send your solicitor a formal acceptance, and a deposit may be payable before settlement takes place and the property is yours. Note that you may have to pay surveyor’s and solicitor’s costs whether your offer is acceptable to the vendor or not. 
Unlike in England, there is no stamp duty land tax, but instead a Land and Buildings Transaction Tax is payable.


Also to note in Inverness, Ross & Cromarty, Sutherland, Argyll, Caithness, Orkney and Shetland is the matter of crofting.
Crofting is a system of land tenure created in 1886 to protect tenant farmers. If an area of land remains part of the croft, there can be important legal consequences because since 1976 crofters have been legally permitted to acquire title to their crofts, thus becoming owner-occupiers. Prospective purchasers in these counties should have the position over crofting clarified by their solicitor before proceeding.
Banner photo: Plockton in Scotland is popular for holiday homes. Credit: Lee Chalmers
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