New railway in Scotland results in rising demand for properties even before 2015 opening

The new Borders Railway being built in southern Scotland is creating a demand for rental properties among those working on the construction which is likely to continue once it opens in 2015.

Scottish property consultants CKD Galbraith is reporting an increase in demand for properties in the area currently. The firm also points out that once the new rail network, which re-establishes a passenger service from Edinburgh into the Borders, there is likely to be more demand for homes from commuters which will lean to price increases.

‘We are calling on landlords to recognise the demand for new rental properties as lettings in the region continues to increase. The Borders Railway will hopefully provide a boost for the region once it comes into service but it is important to realise the opportunities leading up to 2015 when the first train starts running,’ said Julia Seggie, lettings manager at CKD Galbraith’s Galashiels office.

‘For those of us involved in the property sector, that means recognising the increased demand for homes located close to the new railway. Properties within easy reach of the line, and especially the three existing and seven new stations that are being built, are now more sought than ever before,’ she explained.

‘The demand is currently from workers and companies who will be involved in the construction and as a result, good yields can be achieved by home owners with properties to let,’ she added.

In the lead up to the opening of the railway the firm also expects to see an increase in buyers wanting to live in the countryside and commute into Edinburgh.

‘With a forecasted journey time of less than one hour between Tweedbank and Edinburgh Waverley, this will gradually develop into an increase in house hunters looking to locate to the Borders who would not have previously been able to move to the south of the country,’ said Seggie.

‘This increased demand is also filtering through to the buying sector, with the investors and purchasers we assist identifying more reasons to acquire homes in the area, which may lead to increased property prices,’ she pointed out.

‘However, at the moment it is in the lettings market that we are seeing a boom and it is one we predict to continue for the foreseeable future,’ she added.

Although there is evidence that the new railway is already having an effect on property prices. Statistics from the Registers of Scotland shows that Midlothian recorded the largest year on year rise in prices in Scotland.

Director of Commercial Services Kenny Crawford believes that the spike may be a result of the planned Borders Railway Project. ‘We are seeing some interesting figures from Midlothian, where the volumes and average price have both increased,’ he said.

There have been a number of new developments in areas like Dalkeith and Gorebridge, which are likely to be contributing to this upward trend. Work has also recently begun on the new Borders Railway Project, which may also be having an impact on the local housing market,’ he explained.