Edinburgh named top Scottish city for UK residential investment opportunities

Douglas McPhail, director and head of Scotland at Colliers

The country’s capital is only Scottish city to make it into Colliers’ top 10

EDINBURGH is the only Scottish city to make it into the top 10 in a new report on residential investment opportunities from Colliers, and it achieved second ranking for the UK as a whole.

The Top UK Residential Investment Cities report from global commercial real estate advisers Colliers, placed Edinburgh just behind Cambridge, which took top spot. The Scottish capital was ahead of Bristol and London in third and fourth place respectively.

The report recognised Edinburgh’s strong economic fundamentals, high quality universities and solid house price growth.

On top of that Edinburgh took the top spot in the UK on economics thanks to its performance and demographics, with the city’s population forecast to grow at an average rate of 1.2% each year between 2020 and 2030. Its economy grew at an average annual rate of 1.8% between 2010 and 2020 and is expected to expand at 2.3% per annum between 2021 and 2025.

Douglas McPhail, director and head of Scotland at Colliers, said: “Edinburgh offers a unique blend of world-leading heritage, arts and international business, which is juxtaposed with the deep cosmopolitan influence of its renowned festivals and position as the top UK tourist destination, after London.”

In the new report from Colliers, key cities across the UK were compared against 20 indicators in the four the main areas of economics, education, liveability, and property to create a list of the 10 most attractive cities for prospective property investors to consider.

Andrew White, head of residential at Colliers, said: “Often residential investors are attracted to the big name cities. However, our analysis offers a wider perspective for investors to consider when making these decisions. Our analysis has confirmed our suspicions that the likes of Edinburgh, Bristol and Manchester present good investment opportunities.”

Edinburgh performed well on a number of measures, according to the report. It said that unemployment has historically been much lower than in most other cities. Its diverse economy, large population and highly skilled workforce make the city an attractive destination for employers. Meanwhile, employees are drawn to the city’s employment opportunities, cultural heritage and liveability.

In the area of R&D, Edinburgh was ranked fourth in the UK, with its highly educated workforce and top-quality university being singled out.

Mr McPhail added: “The city’s compact size means that for business or pleasure, Edinburgh is easy to traverse by foot, or the efficient transport system.”

And the outlook is optimistic for Edinburgh. The report said the £1 billon St James Quarter, due to open later this summer, will introduce aspirational retail, tourism and leisure brands, creating an exciting mixed-use focal point to the East End of Princes Street.

However, the report did point out that, similar to most cities with a big exposure to financial services, there is a relatively high degree of income inequality, resulting in affordability issues in this Scottish capital.

While Glasgow didn’t make the list of top 10 cities overall, the city took third spot when the report focused solely on property because it remains affordable, despite strong house price growth.

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