This city knows how to party
Edinburgh packs a cultural and historic punch. It’s also creating jobs and homes. By
SCOTLAND’S culturally vibrant capital knows how to party. Along with its legendary threeday Hogmanay new year celebration, Edinburgh hosts 12 annual festivals. It is the UK’s second most visited city after London, with four million international tourists a year.
Edinburgh is also second only to London among British cities with the most FTSE 100 companies and has a strong reputation for tech start-ups. Yet it is compact and walkable, more of a town in size and population, with swift escape routes to breathtaking countryside and coastlines.
“Edinburgh is a big city in a small skin,” comments Ben Fox, head of residential at Savills Edinburgh. “It’s established, a thriving financial centre, not at all provincial and an easy place to live and work. The four universities bring an international audience, too.”
About 42 per cent of students at Edinburgh University stay in the city after graduation, lured by this winning lifestyle and predictions of 3,200 new professional, science and tech jobs being created over the next five years. New research from international relocation firm MovHub.com this year placed Edinburgh top of 32 cities worldwide for affordability and lifestyle for cash-strapped millennials.
LIVE IN AN EDINBURGH VILLAGE
Edinburgh prime property prices rose 5.3 per cent last year, peaking in the Georgian architecture and garden squares of New Town. Homes in Moray Place range from two-bedroom flats for £600,000 to full townhouses at more than £3 million. A three-bedroom garden-level flat in Carlton Terrace is for sale at offers over £575,000 with Savills. “Buy as centrally as possible for long-term capital growth,” advises Fox. “The historic centre can’t be replicated and the market’s biggest issue is low stock, down 12 per cent year on year.”
Like London, Edinburgh has a number of “villages” where independent butchers, fishmongers and boutiques thrive. Among the most popular are Stockbridge, where a first-floor 1,800sq ft apartment would cost £600,000, and Morningside, a favourite for its Waitrose, Dominion Cinema and acclaimed state and independent schools.
At Newbattle Terrace in Morningside, Savills is selling 25 new two- and three- bedroom apartments priced from £499,995. Nearby, a well-sized and vibrantly decorated one-bedroom apartment in an older stone house with communal gardens is £ 210,000 through Warners.
Fox also advises investors to look at the east side of the city — which will benefit from a substantial St James development — and the west side around Haymarket, where future development is planned. “Edinburgh hasn’t seen major regeneration for two generations but we are certainly starting to see it now,” he adds.
NEW BUILD ON THE WATERFRONT
A proposed tram extension towards Leith is focusing attention on the industrial waterfront from Newhaven and Granton where 6,000 new homes are planned. Large apartment blocks that stalled in the 2008 recession are now back on track with average prices of £200,000 for one- and two-bedroom homes.
“Gyms and supermarkets are opening, the tram extension is coming and there are good bus links to the city centre,” says Natalie Simpson, head of new homes at Savills. “There are lovely waterfront walks and cycle paths to Cramond.”
In the Upper Strand development, 55 Degrees North offers three- and four-bedroom open-plan townhouses overlooking the waterfront with garages, large windows, generous terraces and landscaped gardens, near the shops and restaurants of the Ocean Terminal centre. Prices from £345,000, with one- and two-bedroom flats coming to market later this year.
Savills: savills.com 55 Degrees North: 55dn.co.uk Warners: warnersllp.com
Let us entertain you: the world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe is just one of the city’s dozen annual cultural events helping to draw four million tourists a year
Offers over £575,000: for a three-bedroom flat in famous Carlton Terrace. Through Savills