St Andrews councillor: ‘Scores prices underline need for affordable homes’

The Most Expensive street in Scotland The Scores  St Andrews Fife. Pic: George McLuskie
The Most Expensive street in Scotland The Scores St Andrews Fife. Pic: George McLuskie

It’s a street which boasts ­picturesque views over the North Sea and, crucially, sits near the famous 18th green of the Old Course.

The bad news is, if you want to buy a home on The Scores in St Andrews, you will likely need funds of at least £2 million.

According to the Bank of Scotland, the street is now the most expensive place to live in Scotland.

The average price paid for a property there was £2.18 million last year – almost £300,000 more than nearest competitor, Ettrick Road in Edinburgh’s Merchiston district.

Reacting to the news, Cllr Brian Thomson said: “First of all, it’s positive in that it brings prestige to the town and shows St Andrews is a very desirable place to live.

“The refurbishment and new build of homes there has also created jobs for communities and people. However, I would have much rather the headline read ‘100 new affordable homes for the town’ “

Cllr Thomson, a chartered town planner, has called on Fife Council to adopt a policy introduced by Cornwall Council in St Ives, which prohibits the use of new builds as second homes.

But he admitted such a measure would only “just scrape the surface” of house prices in St Andrews and an “almost limitless” number of affordable new homes were required to take the heat off the market.

He added: “The average house price in St Andrews is now £300,000 plus and that’s well beyond most people’s means.

“University lecturers are on good salaries of around £40k and they just can’t get a house, people on lower salaries have no chance whatsoever.”

“A moratorium on HMOs in the conservation area doesn’t save the rest of the town. A huge swathe of former council houses are now in private ownsership and a significant number of them are owned by landlords.”

Meanwhile Thorntons, local estate agents in St Andrews, told the Citizen the bank survey represented niche market.

Linda Reynick, property manager, said: “The Links and the Scores tend to be the main addresses which attract those types of prices – but go one street back and it could be half that.

“These streets attract an international market, paying for the views and proximity to the prestigious Old Course.

“For a golfer it’s the number one place in the world to be and will always be in demand. When something does come up, and it tends to only rarely given many of the buildings are owned by the university, they are always desirable. They also tend to be large properties and, if you are looking at that level of the market, size doesn’t faze buyers.”