Edinburgh ranks ahead of London in new property investment report


EDINBURGH is the only Scottish city to make it into the top 10 in a new report on residential investment opportunities.

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

Edinburgh ranked second, with Cambridge taking the top spot. Bristol and London finished third and fourth respectively. The report highlighted Edinburgh’s strong economic fundamentals, high quality universities and solid house price growth.

The city took top spot in the UK on economics, thanks to its performance and demographics – with the capital’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.”

Andrew White, head of residential at Colliers, added, “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.”

The report said the £1 billion 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.