Breaking the Capital’s Hold: UK’s Buy-to-Let Hotspots Shift as Glasgow Leads the Charge

Emerging Trends in the UK's Rental Property Market: Glasgow Tops the List as London's Growth Slows

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Key Takeaways:

  • Glasgow’s Surge: Glasgow sees the highest increase in buy-to-let properties, overtaking previous leader Edinburgh.
  • Shifting Focus from London: Despite London’s dominance in numbers, its growth in buy-to-let properties lags behind other cities.
  • Landlord Confidence Remains High: Half of the landlords still view buy-to-let property as a recommendable investment.


The UK’s buy-to-let property market is experiencing a significant shift. Glasgow has emerged as the new growth hotspot, according to a recent analysis of over 100,000 landlord insurance policies by Simply Business, one of the UK’s leading providers of small business and landlord insurance.

The Rise of Glasgow

Glasgow has experienced a remarkable 12% increase in buy-to-let properties, surpassing other major cities. This surge positions Glasgow as the city with the most significant growth in the sector, a title previously held by Edinburgh, which has now slipped to ninth place.

The Top 10 Cities for Buy-to-Let Properties

  1. Glasgow
  2. Nottingham
  3. Leeds
  4. Bristol
  5. Leicester
  6. Manchester
  7. Birmingham
  8. Liverpool
  9. Edinburgh
  10. London

Shifting Landlord Investment Trends

The report reveals a notable shift away from London, traditionally the heart of the UK’s rental market. Despite having the highest number of buy-to-let properties, London saw the least growth, indicating a change in landlord investment strategies.

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London’s Changing Dynamics

While London remains unmatched in total numbers, its growth has slowed significantly, with only a 4% increase compared to 21% in 2022. This suggests landlords are looking beyond the capital for property investments.

Landlord Perspectives on Buy-to-Let Investments

Despite economic uncertainties, many landlords remain positive about the buy-to-let market. A survey of 611 landlords across the UK conducted in March 2022 reveals that half of them would recommend investing in rental property.

A Landlord’s Testimony

Paul, a landlord from Warrington, shares, “Investing in rental property is a sound decision.” He reflects on the upsides of being a landlord, including providing quality housing and reaping financial benefits.

Alan Thomas’s Insights on the Market

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, comments on the growth in the buy-to-let sector, highlighting Glasgow’s emerging attractiveness for landlords. He acknowledges the challenges faced by landlords but emphasizes their crucial role in providing housing to over five million households.

The Role of Simply Business

Simply Business insures over 450,000 landlords, giving them a unique insight into the housing market’s challenges and trends. Their comprehensive data and analytics play an integral role in understanding market dynamics.

Methodology and Data Insights

Simply Business’s analysis is based on the number of buy-to-let policies taken out with them over the past three years. This data provides a clear picture of the shifting trends in the UK’s rental property market.

Buy-to-Let Policy Data (2023 vs. 2022 vs. 2021)

  • Edinburgh: 6,820 vs. 6,482 vs. 4,839
  • Leicester: 4,891 vs. 4,533 vs. 3,625
  • Manchester: 9,375 vs. 8,783 vs. 7,046
  • Bristol: 7,014 vs. 6,496 vs. 5,219
  • Nottingham: 7,086 vs. 6,507 vs. 5,241
  • Liverpool: 5,939 vs. 5,629 vs. 4,636
  • Leeds: 5,714 vs. 5,290 vs. 4,359
  • Birmingham: 9,579 vs. 8,965 vs. 7,294
  • London: 40,627 vs. 39,022 vs. 32,103
  • Glasgow: 6,810 vs. 6,083 vs. 5,404
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The latest trends in the UK’s buy-to-let market point to a significant shift in landlord investment strategies, with cities like Glasgow and Nottingham seeing a surge in growth. As London’s dominance wanes, other cities are emerging as attractive options for landlords. The resilience of the buy-to-let market, even amid economic uncertainties, reflects its enduring appeal as a viable investment option.

About Simply Business

Launched in 2005, Simply Business is a leading UK business insurance provider, specializing in public liability insurance for SMEs and landlords. A B Corp accredited for positive social impact, Simply Business has been recognized as the Sunday Times Best Company To Work For twice. For more information, visit Simply Business.

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