Looking for houses for sale in Aberdeen? This guide is packed with essential buyer information on the so-called Granite City.
Aberdeen is Scotland's third largest city and the beating heart of the north east of the country. It is often dubbed the Granite City or the Silver City with the Golden Sands because of the silver-grey granite used to build many of the buildings on the long, sandy coastline.
Aberdeen offers all the perks of city life, including historical attractions, culture and entertainment, shopping and sporting facilities. It also has a thriving student community thanks to Aberdeen University and Robert Gordon University, which are both located in the city. The North Sea petroleum industry is the driving force behind Aberdeen, which can make it an expensive place to live.
Aberdeen is home to many notable schools, making it a popular area for families. Robert Gordon's College in the Schoolhill area of the city is one of the top schools in Scotland. Other good schools include Cults Academy, an Aberdeen City Council secondary school; Aberdeen Grammar School; and Westhill Academy, an Aberdeenshire Council secondary school near the city. There are also many well-regarded primary schools in Aberdeen.
However, there is more to Aberdeen than a bustling urban landscape. The city has a variety of gardens, parks and open spaces, which burst into bloom in the warmer months.
And, like other major Scottish cities, it is surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Nearby there are dramatic castles, stunning coastline and the Cairngorms national park, where many country sports are on offer. Plus there are top golf courses in the region, including those from Donald Trump and Paul Lawrie. There is another from Jack Nicklaus in the pipeline.
Houses for sale in Aberdeen
There is a lot of residential development taking place in Aberdeen and the wider area. From new and luxury apartments to loft-style flats and spacious houses, there is plenty of choice for buyers looking for new build homes.
However, there is still plenty of older, re-sale stock available in Aberdeen for buyers looking for history and character. The bulk of homes in the heart of the city are large granite buildings divided into separate apartments, known as tenement flats. Many have been refurbished to a smart spec.
Where to buy in Aberdeen
There are a number of neighbourhoods to consider when looking at houses for sale in Aberdeen.
It is worth noting that there are 11 conservation areas in Aberdeen: Albyn Place and Rubislaw, Bon-Accord and Crown Street, Cove Bay, Ferryhill, Footdee, Great Western Road, Marine Terrace, Old Aberdeen, Pitfodels, Rosemount and Westburn and Union Street.
It means that there may well be additional controls exerted if a redevelopment or property extension is sought in one of these areas.
Old Aberdeen has a reputation for picturesque architecture. The larger houses in the area don't often hit the market but when they do, they typically have hefty price tags.
Ferryhill, one of the city’s older neighbourhoods, has a wide variety of house styles. They include historic mansions as well as new build homes, such as townhouses.
Rosemount is a popular residential area in Aberdeen. It comprises mainly Victorian terraced houses as well as some new housing developments and tenement buildings.
Seafield, Braeside and Mannofield are among the areas that are dominated by semi-detached houses, which make them well-suited to families. There is a good range of facilities nearby.
The area often known as the West End, which includes Rubislaw, Queen’s Road and Queen’s Cross, tends to attract business executives. It boasts large detached and semi-detached granite houses.
There are quaint cottage-style properties and some new housing developments in Footdee, a small fishing village known as ‘Fittie’, by the harbour.
Westhill is a relatively new community popular with families. It comprises some expensive houses as well as schools and other amenities.
There are some highly sought-after properties in villages on the A93 heading west from Aberdeen. Easily commutable, and with good schools in the area, expect to pay a premium to buy a property in locations such as Cults, Milltimber and Peterculter.
Transport in Aberdeen
Getting around the UK and overseas is easy from Aberdeen. The city’s international airport has connections with around 35 destinations worldwide. There are cheap flights operated by the likes of easyJet as well as other domestic and international carriers.
First Aberdeen and Stagecoach Bluebird run bus services between Aberdeen Airport and the city centre. Trains from the nearest train station, Dyce, reach Aberdeen in about 10 minutes.
Aberdeen is also well connected by rail. Trains run regularly from Aberdeen train station in the city centre to London King’s Cross in seven hours and Edinburgh in two and a half hours. There is also a sleeper train every night which terminates at London Euston. There is a second train station at Dyce.
The Scottish city sits on the A90, which runs along the north east coast. To the north is Fraserburgh and to the south are Stonehaven, Forfar, Dundee and Perth. The northernmost motorway in Scotland – M90 – starts in Perth and heads down to Edinburgh. The A9, which also starts in Perth, runs south west and north west. The A96 links Aberdeen and Inverness.
A number of buses and coach companies operate services between Aberdeen's bus station and all corners of the UK. They include megabus, Scottish Citylink and National Express.
Things to do in Aberdeen
Aberdeen is steeped in history and culture. Old Aberdeen, as the name suggests, is the medieval heart of the city. The area has cobbled streets and a mix of architecture from the fifteenth century through to the nineteenth century. Attractions include King’s College, the historic street of Chanonry, St Machar’s Cathedral and Brig O’ Balgownie, a medieval bridge.
Castlegate is where the market square was first established in the thirteenth century. It has a gruesome history, where public executions took place. Local points of interest here include the prison tower, called Tolbooth, and the Mercat Cross. A fish market takes place at Aberdeen’s harbour.
There is no shortage of galleries and museums in Aberdeen. The Aberdeen Art Gallery is home to a wide variety of historic and modern works of art. The Aberdeen Maritime Museum is a popular visit too. Also look out for Peacock Visual Arts, Marischal Museum, Gordon Highlanders Museum and Provost Skene’s House, the city’s oldest townhouse.
There is plenty on offer for shopaholics. Aberdeen boasts major shopping centres, including Union Square, big name retailers as well as independent boutiques. There is also entertainment on tap. Major city venues include His Majesty’s Theatre and the Music Hall, which attracts the likes of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. There are also many very good independent restaurants and eateries.
Aberdeen knows how to put on a festival. Aberdeen International Youth Festival, the Aberdeen Jazz Festival, TechFest, Aberdeen International Football Festival, the Winter Festival and the Speyside Whisky Festival are all hosted in the city.
Aberdeen is ideally suited to those who enjoy the Great Outdoors. The city’s green parks and open spaces include Duthie Park, home to one of Europe's largest indoor gardens. The glasshouses at the winter gardens are bursting with exotic plants and flowers. Meanwhile, the two mile-long Aberdeen Beach is just east of the city.
There is a wide range of sporting facilities in the city. Plus there are some truly unspoilt beauty spots in the wider Aberdeenshire area where locals walk, climb, windsurf, swim, horse ride, fish – even ski. Balmedie Beach is popular in the area, with many locals choosing to walk or even ride horses there.
Two of Scotland’s five ski areas are in Aberdeenshire: Lecht 2090 and Glenshee, the country's most extensive ski centre.
Royal Deeside, part of the valley of the River Dee, lies to the west of Aberdeen. The River Dee is one of Scotland's great salmon rivers. There are also great sandy beaches to the east of Aberdeen, including the popular Balmedie Beach.
The Aberdeen area is full of historic castles, any of which make for a great family day out. Scotland’s Castle Trail links up 13 of Aberdeenshire’s best-known castles and aristocratic homes. One of the most high profile castles in the area is Balmoral, the Queen's private residence. The Royal Family traditionally retreat to Balmoral during the summer months of August and September.
Look out for the Braemar Gathering, a traditional Highland Gathering that is held on the first Saturday in September. It attracts a large crowd, including the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.
Weather in Aberdeen
Temperatures in Aberdeen during the winter tend to drop below freezing. The city has just six hours of daylight during the winter months and rainfall is frequent.
Come the summer however, Aberdeen enjoys long days lasting up to 18 hours. Temperatures typically peak at around 20 Celsius during the warmest month of the year, July.