1. Hillhead. Glasgow’s perennial number one area of rental choice, which is understandable when the two main local employers are the University and Western Infirmary, while the city centre can be reached in just over five minutes by Subway. Even the departure of BBC Scotland to the other side of the river has not dented its popularity. Byres Road, the district’s main artery, offers everything needed to sustain (and entertain) modern Glasgow man and woman – there’s even a traditional cinema nearby. Literally thousands of red sandstone tenement dwellings in the vicinity, although despite the range available, rental rates are higher than for this type of property elsewhere in the city.
2. Shawlands. The South Side’s answer to Hillhead. Busy and bustling with the same range of services, although it’s been claimed that the retail profile has suffered since the opening of the nearby Silverburn shopping centre. Same type of flatted dwellings as Hillhead but rental levels are generally lower. Good connections to the centre of town, either by frequent buses or the Cathcart Circle rail line.
3. The Park. This would be many people’s first choice – if they had the money. One of Glasgow’s first residential “suburbs”, The Park later became an office district but is now being gradually returned to its original purpose. The conversions of offices to residential use have tended to be of a high quality and this is reflected in relatively high rental rates. Still, the Park is a fantastically quiet location within comfortable walking distance of both the city centre and West End.
4. Merchant City. This is the place for anyone who likes having a huge variety of bars, restaurants and clubs on their doorstep – in addition to Scotland’s top designer shops, based in the Italian Centre. Unfortunately, noise from late-night revellers (not always confined to Friday and Saturday nights) has been a regular complaint among some Merchant City residents, so if looking to rent a flat here, do check out the sound insulation qualities – and the proximity of local bars.
5. Bridgeton/Parkhead. Until recently east end meant “fag end” and to a certain extent still does. But that may change with the millions of pounds of public money being pumped into these areas in preparation for the Commonwealth Games of 2014. A great effort is being made to ensure that the resultant infrastructure will provide a legacy, post-2014, so for many people, renting in the east end may eventually become a matter of choice rather than just budget.
David Alexander is proprietor of D J Alexander, residentia letting agency.
THE SCOTSMAN, 11 March 2009