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V&A effect supercharges Dundee’s property market

Dundee’s residential property market is being boosted by the V&A effect, with prices regularly well above Home Report valuations and homes selling very quickly.

The coastal city, famous for jam, jute, journalism and its two football teams, has undergone significant regeneration in recent years to rescue it from its post-industrial slumber. The V&A Museum of Design Dundee – the first ever design museum to be built outside London – is the major part of a £1 billion transformation of Dundee’s historic waterfront.

The £80 million building on the banks of the River Tay – designed by architect Kengo Kuman – opened in September this year and saw more than 100,000 visitors in its first month of operation.

This, along with the rest of the £1 billion Waterfront Project – which is helping to transform the business, transport, financial and hospitality sectors along the river – has helped to bring a feelgood factor and sense of optimism to the city.

According to Bob Fraser, director in the Dundee office of DM Hall Chartered Surveyors,the market is as positive as it has been for many years, with the admittedly nationwide problem of lack of supply resulting in homes selling very quickly and, more often than not, benefitting from the competitive situation of a closing date.”

As a result, prices are regularly well above Home Report valuations, particularly in hotspots such as Broughty Ferry and the West End. “A year ago, if sellers had simply achieved Home Report value, they would have been patting themselves on the back,” Fraser added.

The increase in visitor numbers to Dundee, driven by the waterfront transformation and the opening of the V&A, has attracted the interest of buy-to-let investors who are buying up flats in the area. They are doing so with the express intention of marketing them through Airbnb as well as more traditional rental avenues, Fraser says. 

The regeneration of Dundee is set to continue apace, with the construction of a 150-bedroom Marriot Hotel on the waterfront, the possibility of the John Lewis Partnership taking space and the planned offices at the Site 6 development. A number of former mills within the city have been revived, while there are plans for the rejuvenation of others – including a comic museum to celebrate the city’s links to The Beano and The Dandy – in the offing.

Fraser says that the Dundee residential market is not nearly as sensitive to geopolitical concerns as places such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, which helps it to stay on a more even footing. “It has its highs and lows, but in the main it simply ticks along, remaining cheaper than most places in the country,” he said.

“The elephant in the room, of course, is Indyref2, which is a sensitive topic in what is now known as Yes City because a greater percentage of Dundonians backed independence than anywhere else in Scotland.”

Fraser added that demand for homes is particularly high in areas such as Ninewells and along the Perth Road, while high demand is also in evidence in ‘pleasant coastal towns’ at the other end of the estuary such as Monifieth and Carnoustie.

Affordable former local authority houses are selling especially well in districts such as Douglas, Fintry, Charleston and St Mary’s, where two-bedroom homes typically go for £100,000 and three beds for £115,000.

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