Sales in Scotland's heartlands outperform the property market below £400,000

24 May 2016

A positive reversal of fortunes is currently taking place in Scotland’s heartlands of Central and Tayside, which have been slower to recover since the property market downturn.

New research from Savills shows the market below £400,000 across the town and country locations of the heartlands, which are identified as Angus, Dundee, Fife, Stirling, and Perth, has outperformed Scotland as a whole.  Savills research, entitled Spotlight on the Central and Tayside Residential Market goes on to reveal that strong growth across lower price bands is now leading to improved prime activity.

The research indicates that sales at the top end of the market are already on the rise, with nineteen sales at over £1m completing in the heartlands last year, compared to a five year average of 16.

Savills Harry Maitland said:  “With incredible quality of life, access to airports, great schools and fast access to many of Scotland’s cities, it was only a matter of time before the market in Scotland’s heartlands caught up with Scotland’s property market recovery.  These local markets are now outperforming Scotland in terms of sales; the laws of supply and demand dictate that this will in turn lead to a rise in values across all price bands”.

The number of residential sales below £400,000 increased by 23% in the heartlands compared to 11% across Scotland as a whole last year.  Sales overall increased annually by 9%, slightly ahead of the 8% figure for Scotland.

Savills Head of Research, Faisal Choudhry said:  “The local markets within Scotland’s heartlands have been boosted by comparatively lower rates of property taxation and improved mortgage lending. They have traditionally comprised relocation hotspots and continue to attract second home owners and downsizers from outside the region, particularly within lower price brackets.

“The recovery of the market below £400,000 is now firmly established, having begun in 2013. Looking forward, the region is likely to see value growth over the next five years, albeit at a slower rate compared to the city hubs of Edinburgh and Glasgow. As a consequence, there will be opportunities for buyers to take advantage of relative affordability”.

The Stirlingshire market led the way, with a 28% uplift in sales below £400,000 and a 9% rise across all price bands.  This market has seen a particularly powerful performance in and around Stirling city and the hotspots of Dollar, Dunblane and Killearn.

In Fife sales below £400,000 increased annually by 26%. The local market  is traditionally dominated by the hotspot of St Andrews but it has also grown substantially in coastal and commuter areas, offering good transport links and attainable housing compared to Edinburgh.

In Dundee City, sales below £400,000 increased annually by 24%, stimulated by new housing developments and there was a 13% rise across all price bands.

The Perth & Kinross market witnessed a 22% annual increase in sales below £400,000, with the majority taking place in Perth City, Blairgowrie, Crieff, Auchterarder and Kinross.

The Angus market has remained active in Brechin and Forfar, with increased activity in the coastal locations of Carnoustie and Montrose below £400,000 and also areas just outside Dundee City. There was an increase of 7% in the level of sales across £400,000 and for the market as a whole.

While the additional tax on second homes and buy to let purchases introduced in April 2016 will lead to a slight lull in the short term, we expect the market to adjust by the end of this year.

The Central and Tayside region will experience further growth in values over the next five years, albeit at a lower level than Scotland’s city hubs and traditional hotspots. Values in Scotland’s mainstream  market are expected to see five year growth of 14% with prime values rising by 19%.



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Key Contacts

Faisal Choudhry

Faisal Choudhry

Director, Scottish Research
Residential Research


+44 (0) 141 222 5880