Isle of Islay

Port Charlotte

Islay is the southernmost of the Hebridean islands. It is the largest by population of the Hebrides in Argyll. Its population at the 2011 census was 3228. This represented a small decline since the 2001 census. The island’s population is mainly centred around the villages of Bowmore and Port Ellen. Other settlements include Bridgend, Ballygrant, Port Charlotte, Portnahaven and Port Askaig.

Islay is served by a regular ferry to Port Ellen from Kennacraig on Kintyre which makes regular crossings across throughout the day. Islay is also linked to Glasgow by air

The island has its own high school and several primary schools.  The main industries on the island are distilling – there are 9 distilleries,  tourism, heritage and agriculture.

Community Groups on Islay

South Islay Development

Islay Energy Trust

Islay Community Council


Social Housing

Social housing on Islay is mainly provided by Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA), West Highland Housing Association (WHHA) and Trust Housing Association. Currently, Trust HA have vacancies in their sheltered housing and community housing properties in Bowmore, Bruichladdich and Port Ellen.

For an overview of the number of housing association properties on Islay, click here.

Housing for Sale

Most housing on Islay is privately owned. There are a limited number of houses sold every year and there is often strong demand increasing local house prices.

The Scottish Government promotes initiatives to help first time buyers, but some like the Help to Buy scheme and the MI New Home initiatives are mainly available for new build housing in locations outside of the Hebrides.

Open Market LIFT may be accessible, however access to financial support is currently limited and house price thresholds are low. In Islay, the low threshold means there are few if any houses coming on the market where Open Market LIFT would be relevant. Many islands also have few house sales limiting this option – it is not available for self build.

Islanders may also be able to get help to buy through the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme

Information on houses are currently for sale on Islay can be found at the following:

C+D Mactaggart | MacArthur Stewart | Stewart Balfour & Sutherland | M&K MacLeod | Right Move

Recent house prices can be viewed here

House Plots

Any house plots available on Islay are listed here and at the Estate Agent links below.

Private Rented Housing

Information on properties available for rent can be found at the following locations:

C+D Mactaggart | MacArthur Stewart | Stewart Balfour & Sutherland | M&K MacLeod | Right Move


Housing Options

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 14.31.00HomeArgyll provides detailed information about housing options across Argyll. Click on the logo for their information on Islay. Click here to complete a Home Argyll housing options assessment.