Glasgow is not only an academic and cultural hub of Scotland but is also the economic powerhouse of the nation. Over the past 30 years, Glasgow has reinvented itself into a thriving, metropolitan city continuing to transform its economy from heavy industry to a knowledge-based, technological hub.

History of Glasgow

Glasgow is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with a wealth of cultural heritage to explore. The city’s roots can be traced back to the 12th century with the completion of the Cathedral on the site of St Kentigern’s first church, the patron saint of Glasgow. During this time, ‘Medieval Glasgow’ ran from the River Clyde, up through the Saltmarket, along High Street and up to the Cathedral. Many of the city’s medieval landscape of buildings now lie hidden beneath Glasgow’s Victorian architecture, expect for Glasgow Cathedral, Crookston Castle, Provand’s Lordship, Provan Hall, and the Trongate and Tolbooth Steeple – the city’s remaining medieval architecture which can still be visited today.

The University of Glasgow was founded in the 15th century and was established with the grounds of the cathedral. By the start of the 16th century, Glasgow had become an important religious and academic city and by the 17th century the University of Glasgow moved from the cathedral precincts to it’s own building in the city and it was in 1870 that the university attained its international stature.

Glasgow became an important trading centre during the 16th and 17th century as the Atlantic Trade routes opened. As the city’s wealth increased, the city centre expanded westwards towards the Merchant Square area began in spring up and with the new public buildings such as the City Chambers on George Square, Trades Hall and the Mitchell Library in Charing Cross were built epitomising the city’s new wealth and status.

During the industrial revolution the city became textile hub, as well as a hub for the local coal and iron works due to the abundance of coal and iron in Lanarkshire. It was only in the 19th century when the shipbuilding industry in Glasgow really took off and become the principle source of commerce for the city. Today, the city is still known for its shipbuilding industry with three shipyards located on the River Clyde.

Since the 1980’s, Glasgow has been reinventing itself into a thriving, metropolitan city continuing to transform its economy from heavy industry to a knowledge-based, technological hub.

Living in Glasgow

Glasgow is home to over 1.7 million residents, making it one of the most populous cities in the UK. The population of Glasgow is forecast to increase by 175,000 over the next 15 years – the same projection rate as the cities of New York, Paris and Los Angeles.

The city’s population growth is underpinned by the strong local job market and the falling unemployment rate. Glasgow is now home to 28% of all Scottish companies and provides a third of the country’s jobs. As a testament to the thriving Glasgow economy, the unemployment rate has fallen from its 11.9% high in 2012/2013 to 4.7% – a drop of 7.2% in 6 years. In addition to this, the employment rate has risen by 3% since 2016/2017, bringing Glasgow more in line with the Scotland average.

Considered the more friendly and trendier sister of Edinburgh, Glasgow has a growing working population demographic. The rental market absorbs many students and young professionals who’ve made the vibrant city their home with its strong career prospects. There are over 160,000 students enrolled at Glasgow’s four universities, three higher education colleges and three ‘super’ colleges. Almost half (46%) of all Glaswegians in employment are educated to degree level, making the city’s workforce one of the highest qualified in the UK. Coupled with a buzzing social scene and promising career prospects, the city has proven a tough one to leave. It currently holds the title for the highest student retention rate in the UK outside of London, at 51%.

For all the food lovers, Glasgow can offer a wide variety of bars, restaurants and cafes suitable for the different tastes. If you are in the mood for history, arts and culture, Glasgow’s over 20 galleries and museums will not disappoint. World famous venues like the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum attract an incredible number of visitors and are a definite must see. The music and art lovers will be happy to know that Glasgow is home of the Scottish Opera, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Scottish Ballet and has major pop and rock acts play at different atmospheric venues, such as the Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.

Glasgow’s extensive public transport network comprises of rail, road and air linking the city to both domestic and international destinations. Glasgow has two international airports as well as Europe’s only city centre commercial seaplane terminal. Glasgow International Airport is the closest airport to the city and handles the majority of the city’s air traffic – connecting the city to domestic destinations such as London, the Outer Hebrides, the Inner Hebrides, the Orkney Islands, and the Shetland Islands and further afield international destinations in Europe, North America and Canada, and Asia.

Glasgow’s rail network is one of the densest heavy rail networks in the UK outside of London, with 186 stations across the Greater Glasgow area. The city’s two terminus stations, Glasgow Central station and Glasgow Queen Street stations connect the city with major towns and cities across Scotland and the rest of the UK. Glasgow is also home to the Glasgow Subway – a 15 station underground metro system linking the City Centre and the West End of Glasgow.

HS2 will catapult Glasgow’s future growth and further connectivity, as the city has been considered as priority location for this mammoth rail infrastructure project. The city is expected to home to a new terminus station from the first phase of the highly anticipated rail programme. The new high-speed rail station will be operational from as early as 2026 and will provide easier access to cities in the Northern Powerhouse region as well as London.

House prices in Glasgow are one of the fastest growing in the UK. This is largely attributed to the speed at which the city has gentrified. Even with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and COVID-19, total forecasts for Glasgow are expected to remain the same over the next 5-year period at 15.4% price growth and 13.7% rental growth.

Moving to Glasgow

Like many cities, Glasgow has truly embraced modern and cosmopolitan living in a big way, with plenty of housing options available. It’s very clear to see why people are moving to the city and calling it home. Our first development in Glasgow, Bell Street is due to complete in Q3 2021.

If you would like to find out more about Bell Street, please complete the below contact form.

History of Vauxhall and Nine Elms

Up until the late 20th century Vauxhall was predominately manual workers’ home and business premises for the London and South Western railway development and also housed the former water supply works for the locale.  During World War II, Vauxhall and the surrounding areas sustained severe bomb damage due the its proximity to the River Thames as well as the area’s industrial sites. This has since paved way for major redevelopment conversions in around Vauxhall.


Nine Elms’ history can be traced back to 1645, when the area first took on the name Nine Elms from a row of elm trees bordering the main road into the area. In 1838, Nine Elms Railway station opened and became the first London terminus for the London and South Western Railway line. It was at the time when the area was often described as “a low swampy district occasionally overflowed by the Thames” by those working on the railways. The station later became redundant when the line was extended to Waterloo and the site was then used as railway wagon and cabin works, until these building were later damaged during World War II and as a result were closed permanently. This site was the acquired and then become the home to the flower section of the New Covent Garden Market. Gasworks were established in Nine Elms back in 1853, close to the existing waterworks of the Southwark and Vauxhall Waterworks company – this site then became the home to, the now iconic, Battersea Power Station in the early 20th century.



Living in Vauxhall and Nine Elms

Since the announcement that the US Embassy will be relocating south of the river, both Vauxhall and Nine Elms have been at the forefront of a massive regeneration programme. This regeneration programme sometime referred to as VNEB, (Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea Opportunity Area), sets out the vision for new homes, jobs, cultural quarter and a new linear park to bring life to this area of London.


The regeneration area spans 227 hectares of central London on the southern banks of the River Thames – it extends from Lambeth Bridge in the north, to Chelsea Bridge in the south, covering the Albert Embankment, Vauxhall and a large section of the north Battersea. It’s by far the largest regeneration schemes currently being undertaken in central London and encompasses on the last remaining industrial stretches of the South Bank.


The location of Vauxhall and Nine Elms, for one, is hard to beat – near the Thames, opposite the Tate Britain, and within walking distance of Pimlico, Victoria, Westminster and Waterloo, it’s certainly in the busy urban heart of the capital.


The area also benefits from excellent transport links, which just adds to its appeal. Not only is Vauxhall train station served by National Rail and a tube station on the Victoria Line, Vauxhall is home to one of the largest bus stations in London. As for commuting, residents will be able to get to Oxford Circus in just 6 minutes via the Victoria Line, London Waterloo within 4 minutes and Clapham Junction within 5 minutes. The area’s already extensive transport links are set to be improved further with the completion of the Northern Line extension from Kennington to Battersea Power Station – creating two new stations, Battersea Power Station an Nine Elms, which is due to open Autumn 2021.


Moving to Vauxhall and Nine Elms

Residents of Vauxhall and Nine Elms will not only benefit from the excellent transport links and the unbeatable London location, but will also be apart of a thriving cultural scene which the area has to offer. With a plethora of local bars, cafes and restaurants, residents will be spoilt for choice – it’s clear to see why so many are now making a home in Vauxhall and Nine Elms.


Are you looking to move to Vauxhall and Nine Elms? We can help, as we have several schemes currently available in Vauxhall and Nine Elms including the recently completed Keybridge House. Find out more by registering your details with us today.


According to Rightmove’s latest House Price Index, April 2019, the price of new-to-the-market property has increased on average by 1.1% over the past month (March-April) – this is the biggest month-on-month rise for over a year and the largest at this time of year since 2016.

The family home sector outperformed other sectors in key metrics as their housing needs outweigh uncertainty; holding value better, with a 0.7% year-on-year price increase compared to a fall of 0.1% nationally for all properties, more likely to sell as the number of agreed is down by 0.4% year-on-year in comparison to the national drop of 1.6%, slightly more willing to come to the market, with 0.7% more new sellers that this time a year ago, compared with a 1.2% fall nationally.

Rightmove have defined the family home sector as being made up of three and four-bedroom properties (excluding four-bedroom detached). Typically, families’ housing needs differ from others and are often driven by the need for more space or proximity to schools, which outweighs the ongoing political uncertainty.

The EU’s offer of a Brexit extension until October coincides with what is usually the busiest time within the property market. As this only currently a postponement, it may last long enough to relive some the short-term uncertainty, so it arrives at an opportune time for the housing.

You can find out more about Rightmove’s latest House Price Index, April 2019 here.

Manchester: the sunshine capital of the UK. It’s difficult to determine what exactly Manchester has in common with the somewhat warmer and drier climes of China or the Middle East. Yet, it’s a hub of international investment.

In recent times, the region’s ability to attract foreign capital has been substantial; the city is fast becoming the beneficiary of millions of pounds’ worth of investment.

During his visit in 2015, president Xi Jinping agreed some £40bn in commercial deals, including plans to develop ‘Airport City’ and two new commercial spaces: Wuhan Square and Shenzhen Gardens. Add to that announcements from airlines Cathay Pacific and Hainan, and the City has potential to become a major partner with Hong Kong and Beijing.

Direct overseas international investment is transforming Manchester; the former Bootle Street Police Station is becoming St. Michaels, a multi-use site comprising of a five-star hotel, luxury apartments, office space and restaurants.

Middle Eastern investment goes far beyond those into the city’s two football teams. It extends to new residential clusters in Angel Gardens – a 458-unit development in the city centre – and a £1bn investment into New Islington and Ancoats, resulting in 6,000 benchmark homes.


The Global Landlord

Manchester’s residential property market is, beyond doubt, booming. There has been a spate of redeveloped areas, conversions and new developments at each point of the city’s compass. First Street continues to emerge with the completion of The Assembly development, and Rivergate House at the newly-created Wilburn Wharf is literally months away. Noma, St. John’s; the list continues.

As Manchester sits comfortably with a host of international commercial investors and wealth funds, so too grows the number of private residential asset investors whom are becoming increasingly vested in the city’s interests. Investors are expanding their residential portfolios overseas and into the city, with real estate being the leading asset class for those in Asia and the Middle East.


A Complete Difference

The needs of global landlords vary significantly from local investors; focused management and navigation of the complexities of overseas markets, laws and tax customs are central to their concerns.

In July 2016, Complete opened its Manchester office, responding to the demand from overseas investors to manage their portfolios and continued investments in the city.

Our company already has significant footprint in two of the newest developments in the city: The Assembly on Cambridge Street, Manchester’s second-tallest residential development, and Rivergate House. An historic conversion of the paper warehouse, Harter Street, is due for completion soon.

Complete are Manchester’s leading partner for investors and overseas landlords who wish to spread the complexities of managing their residential investment assets across international markets. With a firm footing in thirteen markets globally, and offices in Manchester, London, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Berlin, we have a total of $0.8bn in assets under management. The international perspective and considerable understanding of global portfolio holders’ needs is our ultimate point of difference.

Manchester has always been a pioneer and a game-changer. Our city is growing and we’re proud to be growing with it.

Changes in the UK buy-to-let market | What you need to know

Whilst still abundant in investment potential and return, there are changes afoot in the UK buy-to-let market, meaning that investing in the UK isn’t quite as simple as it used to be.

Whether you’re developing your existing portfolio, considering investing for the first time, or find yourself renting out a property you have inherited, here are five critical considerations that need to be taken into account.

Right to Rent Checks

Legislation was introduced this year requiring landlords to conduct a Right to Rent check against applicants to confirm their residential status in the UK, with fines of up to £3,000 for landlords who fail to conduct the checks and are found to be letting their investment property to a tenant illegally residing in the UK.

This is a particularly important consideration for landlords managing their own portfolios, as most managing agents will conduct checks as part of the overall referencing process.

Post-Brexit vote stability

Despite the stamp duty announcement back in April and the uncertainly of Brexit before and after the vote, the house prices have remained stable. In fact, the three most prominent house price indexes have reported a 1.6% increase in average house prices.

There hasn’t been a noticeable slowdown in the buy-to-let market either, with a 30% increase in enquiries from investors in Q2 and Q3, reports Rightmove.

Mortgage interest relief

The National Landlords Association reported recently that c500,000 landlords will be pushed into the higher tax bracket as a result of upcoming changes in mortgage interest tax relief.

From April 2017, the amount of relief landlords can claim will steadily reduce until 2020, when costs will only be deductible at the basic rate of 20%.

The ‘wear and tear’ allowance for landlords letting furnished properties has also changed.

Stamp duty is more expensive than it used to be

A 3% surcharge was added to each band in April, adding a significant chunk into the costs of buying an investment property. As an example, a home costing £200,000 now attracts a £7,500 duty compared with only £1,500 before the changes.

Inheritance properties are not currently subject to stamp duty charges.

Autumn means Statement

A new Chancellor, and a new statement, with potentially more changes on the horizon for the buy-to-let market. Chancellor Phillip Hammond will announce the Autumn Statement on November 23rd.

Complete Prime Residential are global residential investment asset specialists, offering an end-to-end lettings and property management process that is the ideal support for international property investors seeking to build wealth through smart real estate investment.

Follow our insights, see the Complete Difference for Landlords and Investors or contact us to discuss the management of your UK and overseas investment portfolio.