"What was on offer was pretty unappetising," admits letting agent Stephen O'Neill.
"The only decoration was usually 15-year-old newspapers yellowing on the floors and kitchens fitted with old junk that no one wanted, including the prospective tenants.
"But today, the unfurnished rental market has changed remarkably.
"Quality carpets, lined curtains and fitted kitchens with white goods to include at least an automatic washing machine and fridge are all standard fittings available with the better unfurnished lets.
"At O'Neill, unfurnished lets account for more than 60 per cent of our business. This week, we've just added 50 new-build unfurnished apartments to our listings and, for one landlord, we handle around 100 quality flats.
"With first -time buyers waiting longer before they take that first step into property ownership, there's a growing demand from tenants for unfurnished homes.
"This not only saves them money as unfurnished is usually 10 per cent less than furnished property. It also gives them the space and time to start accumulating everything they will need when they move on to buy a home of their own."
Paul Aspley, who moved to Glasgow 18 months ago, is one young man who believes that renting unfurnished is the best way to prepare for future home ownership.
"I wanted time to settle down in my job and in the city, before I even started looking around to buy," he said. "O'Neill showed me a great selection of flats, all freshly decorated and well equipped with the basics, and I eventually decided on a new two-bedroom unfurnished flat in the Merchant City.
"My flat costs me pounds 500 per month, which I think is great value. In London, I'd have been lucky to get a matchbox for that kind of money.
"In fact, the only problem is that it's too central - I've hardly spent a night at home because of all the pubs and clubs within easy walking distance!"
Paul reckons on renting for another few months, and then looking for somewhere to buy.
"Renting an unfurnished flat means I've already collected all the basics I'll need when I buy, which will help keep costs down. Since I don't think I can afford to buy in the Merchant City, I'll also be making savings on my social life!"
For tenants who share Paul's taste for city centre living, O'Neill have a modern two-bedroom flat for rent in St Andrews Square in the Merchant City.
Available from November 28, the apartment has secure entry, lift and garage option, and the rental is pounds 445 pcm.
Telephone 0141-304 0032 for further details.
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Oct 14, 1997|
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