House prices continuing to rise
Despite being released several weeks after other house price reports, the UK House Price Index provides a definitive last word on market trends. In association with Registers of Scotland, its analysis of September’s housing sector was released last week containing a number of positive indicators.
A notable trend in recent UK HPI reports has involved price rises throughout most of Scotland being balanced out by significant falls in and around Aberdeen. That remained the case in September, with Granite City selling prices tumbling by over 10 per cent compared to 2015. While North Ayrshire and Argyll & Bute also recorded slight selling price reductions, every other local authority in west central Scotland saw property values increasing.
The wealthy commuter-belt counties of East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire reported healthy price rises compared to September 2015’s figures, at 15.7 and 10 per cent respectively. South Lanarkshire performed strongly as well, with a 7.1 per cent year-on-year increase and the second-highest number of transactions anywhere in the former Strathclyde region. Glasgow’s impressive tally of 992 sales underpinned a 5.4 per cent rise in transactions in the year to September 30th – well above the national average of 3.4 per cent. Across Scotland, average prices presently stand at £143,006, with detached houses experiencing a bigger price rise than any other property style.
Hoovering up a brownfield site
The Hoover factory was one of Cambuslang’s major post-war employers, prior to its closure in 2005. South Lanarkshire Council has now granted planning permission for almost 200 new homes to be created on this 15-hectare brownfield site, which occupies a prominent location immediately north of the Cambuslang-bound train line.
To be constructed along a new central avenue that will connect Dale Avenue and Somervell Street for the first time, a total of 195 properties will be grouped in clusters with large amounts of open land on all sides. This site could easily accommodate twice as many homes, but the approved plans will still see a mixture of house styles constructed along grid-pattern crescents and cul-de-sacs. The proposed blend of homes will include 95 detached properties, 64 semis and 36 terraced villas.
Although this site stands in a predominantly industrial area, it will place Cambuslang’s high street and train station within easy walking distance. Residents will also enjoy close proximity to the River Clyde’s southern bank, while junction 2 of the M74 is less than a mile away. Planning documents name Dawn Homes and Keepmoat as the developers who will take this project forward, and further updates will be carried on these pages as they’re announced.
A breath of fresh Ayr
While Glasgow and Renfrew have been enthusiastically redeveloping redundant riverside sites, Ayr has struggled to develop a cohesive plan for its own land banks. West of the town centre, the River Ayr is lined with a jumble of modern apartment buildings, historic tenements and ugly municipal or commercial buildings.
The southern bank may soon be feeling the winds of change, with plans to demolish surplus buildings along High Street between the Auld Brig and New Bridge Street. Equally unappealing from the front or rear, these redundant units are set to be replaced with a high-profile glass-themed edifice tentatively titled the Riverside Block.
This ambitious masterplan was devised by the council-led Ayr Renaissance to reintroduce pedestrians to the riverside, while injecting new life into a corner of town that time forgot. Its mixture of cube-like office space and a wedge-shaped glass festival building will be submitted for planning approval next year, with a proposed blend of retail, dining and office facilities. There will also be a significant amount of open space, which could potentially be used to host future events. As well as revitalising the dismal western section of High Street, this masterplan is also intended to form the start of a riverside esplanade that may ultimately extend to the seafront at South Harbour Street.