THERE are still nearly two years to go until thousands of athletes take part in one of biggest sporting events ever held in Scotland, but letting agents in Glasgow are already reporting a demand for accommodation because of the Commonwealth Games.

One company has had enquiries about long-term rentals from those involved in preparing for the event.

And property experts say homeowners in the city could cash in nearer the time by renting out their flat or house to visitors.

Oliver Paul, sales and lettings manager at Rettie & Co, said the firm had already rented three properties to people involved in preparations for the event, which take place from 23 July to 3 August 2014.

"I think it is the background staff and the technical support staff who are beginning to look for accommodation," he said.

However, Paul pointed out one issue was that demand for rented properties was currently outstripping supply in Glasgow.

"We have also had enquiries from a couple of people who we haven't actually been able to supply property to," he said.

He added: "We can rent properties very quickly just now, in some cases within days. If I have got anything that is on the market for longer than a month, I'm wondering what is wrong with it."

Mark Hordern, chief executive of Glasgow Solicitors Property Centre (GSPC), said he expected people would be able to rent out their properties for higher than normal rent closer to the Games.

"If you think of London and the Olympics this year, lots of people got very high rents for their properties and they went and lived with friends because they were being paid a lot more than would normally be the case," he said.

"You will see a similar trend in Glasgow, and it won't be confined to the east end."

A £150 million Athletes' Village is being built in the city's east end to accommodate 6500 athletes and officials. It will be converted into homes for sale or rent after the Games.

When Manchester hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2002, redevelopment and rejuvenation in the city was said to have contributed to house prices rising by 102% in the five years leading up to the event.

Hordern pointed out prices were generally on the increase in those boom years, and added that improvements in transport links were likely to have more influence on an area's property values than new sporting facilities.

He said: "If you improve the infrastructure of the east end so it is easier to get into the city centre, and if you then improve the quality of housing and then ensure the right blend of tenure, you have a very good chance of creating a self-sustaining property market where properties will retain their value."

However, Dan Cookson, market analyst with Citylets, warned expectations of inflated rental prices ahead of the London Olympics had not necessarily come to fruition.

He said: "I think there were a few potentially greedy landlords that didn't actually get their properties let. And while on the one hand you might get an inflated two or three weeks of letting, on the other hand you might lose your long- term tenant."

He pointed out that the Commonwealth Games differed from "very corporate" events such as The Open golf championship taking place in St Andrews, which can see locals rent out their homes for high sums.

But he added: "It will be boosting the economy, so there will be more people on the ground, potentially, that need somewhere to live while things are getting put in place."

About 140,000 room-nights in hotels have been provisionally reserved in Glasgow and the surrounding area for Commonwealth Games visitors, which is about half of the capacity available over that time.

Tourism chiefs stressed they would not be repeating the message given out for the London Olympics, when business travellers were encouraged to stay away and people told to consider holidaying outwith the city amid fears of overcrowding.

That advice was subsequently blamed for a decline in visitor numbers at tourist attractions and a fall in shoppers in the capital.

Scott Taylor, chief executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: "We won't give the impression that Glasgow is closed, far from it.

"We need the businesses and the people of Glasgow and Scotland to make the city come alive in 2014 and our message is clear – if you're thinking of taking a holiday during the Games fair fortnight, then do so in Glasgow; if you're a company, do great business in Glasgow."

About 200 people are currently employed in the Glasgow 2014 workforce, with a further 800 to be recruited over the next two years, according to the organisers.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow 2014 said opportunities for Scots would be created, as well as individuals bringing specialist skills to the city.