All roads lead to Glasgow as the city prepares for a population surge

18/06/2019 18:36:45

The population of Glasgow is expected to grow by 24,000 in the next seven years, driven by inward migration and a growing movement of people from rural to urban areas. Edinburgh is expected to grow by 37,000 over the same period, according to newly published figures.

The Scottish Government has launched a taskforce to plan for changing demographic patterns, which are expected to see families leaving areas such as Inverclyde, Ayrshire and the Western Isles.

With Scotland experiencing a falling birth-rate and an ageing population, future growth is expected to come from migration from overseas and the rest of the UK.

Ministers are preparing to ensure house building programmes are in place to meet the demand in Glasgow and surrounding commuter areas such as North and South Lanarkshire and that these growing populations will have access to decent public services.

The movement, from rural to urban areas, is driven by a boom in the economies of Glasgow and Edinburgh, fuelling a demand for homes.

Glasgow’s growing financial sector was boosted by an announcement by Barclays that it is to create up to 2,500 jobs at a new hub for its technology, functions and operations teams at a campus at the planned Buchanan Wharf development on the banks of the Clyde.

The city’s creative sector has also mushroomed thanks to the growth of digital start-ups and Channel 4's decision to create a regional base for around 50 senior staff including key executives with significant spending power.

The revival of Glasgow’s fortunes is mirrored in the property market with house prices growing faster than anywhere in the UK, nudging Edinburgh into second place.

With the city now attracting the attention of investors and senior decision-makers from across the UK, last week the Financial Times devoted an entire section to the Glasgow property market.

“Glasgow is more friendly and a bit trendier than Edinburgh, in terms of its people,” Ann Laird, chairman of the Friends of Glasgow West Association told the paper.

Price growth is driven partly by rising demand in a city that has gentrified quickly but it’s mainly down to the arrival of new, high-priced homes. In the year to October 2018, the value of new-build homes in the city increased by 12%. 

“Glasgow’s main purchasers have, traditionally been local but we’re seeing a gradual shift,” said Gregor Cope, Director of Scottish Property Centre Shawlands.

“Incomers from the rest of the UK and abroad were, in the past, more likely to settle in Edinburgh which was regarded as classier and more fashionable but that has changed.

“With the current focus on regionalisation and movement away from London and the south-east, companies are now choosing to locate in Glasgow rather than Edinburgh. As a result, Glasgow’s rate of economic growth is the highest in Scotland and it’s impacting on demand for homes.”

For more information on properties available in Glasgow and its surrounding areas contact your local Scottish Property Centre branch or visit


Property Alerts

Get notified about latest hot properties!