Belfast move begins expansion for Citylets

by Scott Douglas

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

SCOTLAND’S leading property letting site has announced an ambitious expansion after setting up in the property hotspot of Belfast.

Citylets has enjoyed huge success in the booming markets of Edinburgh , Glasgow and Aberdeen and has become the first choice website for residential lettings across Scotland.

But now the Edinburgh-based company – through its portal www.citylets.co.uk – is setting its sights further afield and has chosen the boom area of Belfast to launch its first venture outside Scotland.

A recent report by Nationwide showed that house prices in Belfast had risen 33 per cent during the past year – higher than anywhere else in the UK and making it the ideal location for buy-to-let investors.

The renaissance of the city has also gone hand-in-hand with an increase in demand for both professional and university lets, the current student population stands at 24,000 and rising. Citylets is looking to capitalise on the demand caused by the property boom   

And for Belfast-born managing director Thomas Ashdown, the expansion represents a move into a city he knows well.

Thomas, who set up Citylets from his bedroom after leaving Edinburgh University without any formal investment, said: “There is no doubt Belfast is a highly attractive location in the UK at the moment for buy-to-let investors.

“This, coupled with an increased demand for residential lets by young professionals and students, means Belfast is the ideal city for our first expansion outside Scotland. It is a city I know very well and the renaissance it is currently undergoing is remarkable. The figures of 33 per cent growth speak for themselves.

“However, despite the booming property market there is no central portal dedicated to letting agencies or private landlords and no easy way for potential tenants to search for properties.

“With Citylets we already have great experience of filling this gap in cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow and we’re now using this knowledge to provide Belfast with this service.

“The reaction we have had so far from Agents has been excellent. We already have around 20 regularly using us and more than 800 Belfast properties on the site- nearly as many as Edinburgh or Glasgow. We couldn’t have hoped for more in such a short time.

“I’m positive that in the next few years we will see Belfast mirror Edinburgh and Glasgow in terms of success and we will cement our place as the only port of call for landlords, letting agents and tenants of residential property.”

Citylets is now the number one residential property letting portal in Scotland, dealing with the country’s biggest agencies and allowing them to market direct to clients.

ENDS

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