Pride of Scotland: Edinburgh
Edinburgh has a lot to offer, from Georgian houses and flats to excellent schools and a thriving gastronomic scene, finds Anna Tyzack
Local market update
Following the Brexit vote, the telephones in Edinburgh’s estate agencies buzzed with English ‘remain’ voters looking to move north. ‘They were hoping Scotland might retain stronger links with Europe,’ explains Max Mills of Rettie & Co, ‘However, there hasn’t been any kind of stand-off from buyers this summer either. We’re seeing demand from locals, but also from London and overseas.’
Peter Lyell of Savills attributes the current buoyancy in Edinburgh’s market to referendum fatigue—after months of uncertainty, buyers are eager to commit. Whatever happens post-brexit, he continues, Edinburgh has a lot to offer: in a recent Daily Telegraph poll, the Scottish capital was voted the UK’S best city to live in for the third consecutive year.
Along with Edinburgh’s traditional buyers—young professionals, families and student investors —agents have noticed an increasing number of overseas buyers, lured by the weaker pound. ‘If you’re based overseas, a house or a flat here is a rather good deal at the moment—up to 30% cheaper,’ explains Neil Scott of Knight Frank.
House prices rose 3% at the beginning of the year, but have now levelled out, according Mr Lyell, with a lack of stock propping up the £600,000 to £1 million bracket. A two-bedroom flat in Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town now sells for about £500,000 and a threeto four-bedroom family house in the Grange or Inverleith will cost between £1 million and £2 million.
Edinburgh also supports a thriving rental market, according to William Lobban of Martin & Co, with average rents of £850 to £900 per month and apartments in the new Quartermile development generating 6% to 7% yields.
Illustration by Fred van Deelen
For Georgian terraces, you can’t do much better than Moray (pronounced ‘Murray’) Place in the New Town—a quiet, circular terrace with access to private central gardens and further gardens on the banks of the Water of Leith— or nearby Heriot Row and Abercromby Place, which overlook Queen Street Gardens. However, very few properties come on the market here—‘people tend to hold on to them forever,’ explains Jonathan Gordon of Clan Gordon.
Regent Terrace on Calton Hill, a short walk from the city centre, with panoramic views of Holyrood Palace, is a paradise for families: town houses have large gardens and direct access to a park with tennis courts. Enormous detached villas can be found on leafy Whitehouse Terrace in the Grange, to the south of the city, and Inverleith Place in the north, which backs on to the Royal Botanic Garden.