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Moving to Glasgow

Katie Cullen
Written by Katie Cullen
20th October 2017 (Last updated on Friday 31st August 2018)

Located in the West of Scotland, Glorious Glasgow is a thriving metropolitan City and a popular place to live in Scotland. A fairly decent cost of living, an underground transport system, growing industries and the longest bar in Europe make it quite the desirable spot for many looking to relocate in the UK.

If you’re considering moving to Glasgow, you might be unsure of where you should live, what jobs are on offer in Glasgow or even what there is to do when you reach the city. Get all the facts in the Compare My Move Ultimate guide to Moving to Glasgow.

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This article will cover the following points

Where to Live in Glasgow Where to Work in Glasgow Transport Schools and Education in Glasgow Lifestyle and Things to do in Glasgow Moving to Glasgow with a Family

Where to Live in Glasgow

If you are planning on a move to Glasgow then be prepared to have any London based friends and family become very jealous of the size of your house or apartment and what you pay for it. The property market in Glasgow is very reasonable as is the cost of living. Below are a couple averages for you to ponder.

Property Type

Average cost to rent

Average cost to buy

House

£880 PCM

£150,000

Flat

£550 PCM

£100,000


We've recently put together an article exploring how the Glasgow housing market has changed over the last 10 years, which is great for further reading. But what you really need to know is that in Glasgow, flats really do reign supreme. Flats make up a massive 73% of dwellings in the city according to the latest data from the National Records of Scotland.

Renting in Glasgow

The good news is that Glasgow is one of the most affordable cities to rent in in the UK. Compared to London, rental prices in Glasgow are significantly low. That’s hardly a surprise considering the ever sky-rocketing costs of the big smoke. If you’re moving from London to Glasgow, you may feel like a lottery winner with the upgrade in your digs. 

Most places are cheaper to rent than London but Glasgow is actually one of the cheapest places to rent in the entire UK. It is much cheaper than Scotland’s Capital City Edinburgh, and the average for the rest of Scotland.

Properties in Glasgow’s city centre naturally cost a little more than those outside it but overall, most people will find the rental costs in Glasgow pleasing. A one-bedroom flat in the centre of Glasgow currently costs £701 per month to rent according to Zoopla.

Buying in Glasgow

Let’s not pretend like the UK property market isn’t a mess. So many people are struggling to get on the ladder but good ol’ Glasgow boasts much lower property prices than in most other major city in the UK. The average house price is actually much lower than both the UK and Scottish average at £122,116 according to the Office for National Statistics.

Like other cities, house prices vary between less sought-after areas and popular districts, with some areas as low as £60,000 for a two bedroom house. 

In other areas, there are properties that go for £300,000 upwards. A city centre flat in the recently redeveloped waterfront is a pricey £100,000, but it is in a fantastic location so, you know, swings and roundabouts.

Where should you live in Glasgow?

The more popular areas are found in the attractive West End, however a higher average cost reflects this popularity. Elsewhere, places to keep an eye out for are Scotstoun, Knightswood and Anniesfield. These areas are attractive for buyers and renters alike, with a balance of reputation and affordability.

*Current Average House Price for December 2017 Zoopla
**Current average monthly asking rent December 2017 Zoopla
AreaRent Per Month*Price to Buy**
West End£1,346
£368,388
Scotstoun£594£80,226
Anniesland£1,035£204,444
Knightswood£943£135,011
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Where to Work in Glasgow

With around 414,000 jobs in Glasgow City according to the latest estimates by the Office for National Statistics, there are plenty of opportunities for work. If you’re moving to Glasgow, it’s worth knowing the main sectors for employment within the city.

Home to Scotland’s largest private and public hospitals, the city’s main employment hub is the health and social work sector, employing 76,000 people. That's more than 18% of all employment in the city. It’s also the biggest hub of retail in Scotland, with 50,000 retail jobs in the city.

See a rundown of the top 10 employment sectors in Glasgow below to get an idea of the jobs that await you in Glasgow. Figures are the latest available data from the latest Office for National Statistics.

  • Health and social work (76,000 jobs)
  • Admin and support services (54,000 jobs)
  • Retail and vehicle repair (50,000 jobs)
  • Professional and scientific (32,000 jobs)
  • Education (31,000 jobs
  • Financial sector (23,000 jobs)
  • Public Sector (22,000 jobs)
  • Information and communication (18,000 jobs)
  • Manufacturing (17,000 jobs)

And luckily for those moving to Glasgow, jobs in the city are generally well paid. Median weekly pay according to the latest ONS data is at £560.80 a week. This is well above both Scotland and Great Britain’s median weekly pay, which comes in at £547.30 and £553.30 respectively.

All in all, this boils down to a median of £14.48 an hour for Glasgow workers, again well above both the British and Scotland levels.

Transport

Transport in and around Glasgow is simple and straight-forward. There are convenient links in and out of the City and has its own underground system which the locals refer to as the ‘Clockwork Orange’. There are trains running every 4 minutes at peak times and the entire circuit of 15 stations can be completed in just 24 minutes. This is an easy and affordable way to get around in Glasgow:

  • Adult Single - £1.40
  • Monthly Ticket (Covering the Underground, Train and Bus in Glasgow) - £50

Glaswegians (and honorary Glaswegians) also benefit from affordable taxi fare unlike in other Cities like London where a cab ride across town will cost a small fortune.

Travelling by road in and out of Glasgow, you will use:

  • M74 to travel to the South of England
  • M77 to travel to the South West of Scotland
  • M80 to travel Further North

London is a 4-hour train journey from Glasgow and you can get low-cost flights out of Glasgow Airport. 

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Schools and Education in Glasgow

Glasgow’s education system doesn't have the best reputation in comparison to other major cities. However, it's important to note that the exam system in Glasgow is structured differently to the rest of the UK. There are very prestigious and high performing independent schools in Glasgow. 

Lifestyle and Things to do in Glasgow

Over the years, Glasgow has become something of a foodie paradise with a huge amount of stylish restaurants to choose from, dotted all around the city. It has recently been named one of the UK’s most vegan-friendly cities, so can cater for any and all appetites.

The city is awash with comedy nights, music, and theatre performance, and Glasgow’s fashionable West End has become the ultimate hipster hangout. If you enjoy music then you’ll be glad to know that Glasgow is home to many great music venues where you can enjoy all sorts of gigs and different genres of music. The Hydro is Glasgow’s main music venue and has played host to huge worldwide stars.

Glasgow is just overall a fun place to live. The famous Duke of Wellington statue has always had a traffic cone on its head. The police and the council kept removing it but some clever Glaswegian would always put it back on until eventually, the authorities gave in and the cone has earned its place atop the Duke’s head.

The evenings on the Glasgow underground are good fun on a weekend… Yes, Subway Crawls are a thing with groups out socialising having a few bevvies on their way. 

Oliver Flowers, 6th June 2018
"Speedy service, great team and a completely seemless move"

Moving to Glasgow with a Family

Despite the booming industry, growing city life and the wild and trendy weekend crowds, Glasgow is a lovely place for families. There is plenty to do, an abundance of green and grassy parks and plenty of activities which is great if you're moving with children. There is also the Glasgow Science centre that looks like a crashed Spaceship.

So, if you are thinking of Moving to Glasgow, do it. This is a fantastic and affordable place to live. It might take you a while to master the accent but it is friendly and comforting and will soon be familiar.