This city knows how to party

Ed­in­burgh packs a cul­tural and his­toric punch. It’s also cre­at­ing jobs and homes. By

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - Holiday Homes -

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 this year placed Ed­in­burgh top of 32 cities world­wide for af­ford­abil­ity and life­style for cash-strapped mil­len­ni­als.


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.


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: sav­ 55 De­grees North: Warn­ers: warn­er­

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

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