If you have made the decision to invest in property, the next step is to choose your location. In a market as rich and varied as Britain's, this is a decision that requires careful consideration.
Savills, the global real estate services provider, has predicted that Scotland will see house price growth of three per cent in 2015, exceeding every other region in England and Wales.
The company's five-year forecast indicates that house prices in the country will rise by 17.6 per cent before the end of 2019, placing it ahead of areas like Yorkshire and northern England, Wales and London.
Last year, there were strong signs of improvement in Scotland's prime residential property market, with values and transaction levels on the rise.
Within the country, cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow have big student populations and vibrant cultural scenes, creating a strong private rental market that will appeal to buy-to-let investors.
There is a shortage of prime stock to meet demand in urban hotspots such as these, which means sales growth is relatively slow but price inflation is strong, according to Savills.
Manchester is continuing to undergo an exciting regeneration, strengthening its position as one of the most appealing places in the UK to live and work.
The city has seen a number of significant developments that attest to its central role in British culture and business, such as the BBC's relocation to Salford and the expansion of the Metrolink tram service, which is creating new commuter hotspots on the outskirts of Manchester.
According to the latest Hometrack House Price Cities Index, the local property market saw 7.3 per cent growth in prices during the 12 months to November 2014 and further increases are likely this year.
There are several residential areas outside the city districts that are popular with families and commuters, such as Altrincham, Sale, Stockport and the more rural towns and villages found in Cheshire to the south-east.
Hometrack's figures show that Birmingham was one of five cities that surpassed London in terms of house price growth during the three months up to November 2014, along with Edinburgh, Glasgow, Southampton and Bristol.
Like Manchester, it is a dynamic, growing area offering career and business opportunities in the centre of the city and a broad choice of residential districts for families and commuters on the outskirts.
There have also been some positive signs regarding the supply of new housing in Birmingham. Local regeneration company St Modwen has submitted an application to build up to 215 houses in Longbridge, where it has already delivered more than 350 properties, a new Sainsbury's supermarket and a technology park.
A statement from the firm said: "Longbridge is the largest regeneration project in the West Midlands and aims to deliver a sustainable community with the creation of new jobs, new homes and a new town centre supported by an excellent public transport network."
Furthermore, Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust, the building arm of the city council, is hoping to build up to 295 houses, a park and over 5,000 sq ft of retail space in Kings Norton.
The commuter belt around London has long been a property investment hotspot, owing to the broad appeal of the many towns, cities and villages in the area and convenient transport links to the capital.
There are no signs of this trend abating anytime soon, particularly in the south-east. Savills is predicting that house prices will rise by three per cent in this region in 2015, placing it joint second with East Anglia in terms of growth expectations, behind Scotland.
Suburbs within the M25 like Cobham, Esher, Barnet and Rickmansworth have been earmarked for particularly strong price increases in the coming years.
Property buyers can also expect to see good returns on investments in areas that are slightly further afield but still offer simple commutes, such as Amersham, Guildford and Sevenoaks.
With the right purchase in the right location, a property investment could prove a shrewd move this year and in the years to come.
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