Clyde Property, Glasgow estate and lettings agency, in talks about two acquisitions

Business Editor

CLYDE Property is eyeing acquisitions of two separate lettings businesses, in Glasgow and Edinburgh, which would add around 700 rental properties to the 3,000-plus already on its books.

Managing director Gary Thomson, who owns the Glasgow-based estate and lettings agency business with retired co-founder Bill Cullens, highlighted his appetite for further expansion particularly in the Edinburgh postcode area in an interview with The Herald.

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He noted that Clyde had built its lettings business with two acquisitions within the last couple of years.

Mr Thomson said the purchases of the long-established Gordon Shields lettings business on the north side of Glasgow and of Wura Property, another operator in the city, had added around 400 rental properties to the portfolio Clyde manages on behalf of landlords.

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He noted these deals meant the number of properties let and managed by Clyde was currently “just over 3,000”.

Mr Thomson added: “We are actively pursuing further letting acquisitions in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.”

Providing further details of these prospects, he declared: “We are looking to conclude in the next three to four months two further acquisitions which will add 700 [let and managed properties].”

Mr Thomson highlighted the strength of demand from people looking to rent properties at the moment.

He flagged an 11% rise in the rental incomes achieved by Clyde for landlords in the 12 months to January, declaring that this compared with a UK-wide average increase of 6%.

While noting the buoyancy of house prices, he said that the number of transactions on the estate agency side of the business was 86% of that pre-pandemic, observing that fewer people wanted to sell and highlighting very strong demand from people wanting to purchase properties.

He said that the property sales side of the business still generated more than half of Clyde’s profits.

However, spelling out his expansion strategy, Mr Thomson added: “It is no secret we are in a position where we are looking to expand. I am concentrating on the east coast. I would like to get more of a foothold in the EH postcodes. I am focusing on letting at the moment.”

Mr Thomson said it cost between £250,000 and £300,000 to set up an estate agency branch, and you were unlikely to see a profit on this in two years.

He added that acquisitions of letting stock started to pay off immediately.

Clyde, which is focused on west and central Scotland but already has an office in Morningside in Edinburgh, employs about 150 people and has 11 branches handling property sales and letting.

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