in Moving Home December 29, 2019
Edinburgh is a mecca for young professionals with the highest percentage of 30 year olds in any city in Scotland. Opportunities in finance, growing technology sectors and an explosion of trailblazing entrepreneurial companies make Edinburgh a compelling proposition. Add to that the highest concentration of Michelin starred restaurants, beaches and hill walks only a short bus ride away and you’ve got yourself the perfect mix for balancing a healthy lifestyle and career…not that we’re biased or anything!
Whether moving to Edinburgh is stepping into the unknown, or you couldn’t bare to leave after your student days, this guide will help you figure out the right area for you to enjoy this wonderful city, and time of life, from.
New TownOK lets just start with the big hitter…New Town. A UNESCO world heritage site doesn’t come cheap if you want to live here but if you can afford it, it’s a very special place. Beautiful wide cobbled streets are lined with classical Georgian townhouses that are packed with enough period features to make George Clarke lose his head.
A real bonus of these houses is the exclusive access to New Towns private gardens that some of them enjoy. If you can get a key to these then you’ve just earned serious brownie points amongst friends and colleagues when you host a summer BBQ…with Pimms of course.
But in all seriousness, New Town can’t be beaten on location, location, location being less than a five minute walk to the city centre. Great for city centre offices or jumping on the train if a commute is required. You don’t even need to get a taxi after drinks or dining in one of the hundreds of fabulous city centre restaurants.
A lot of New Town’s charm comes from the fact that it is very residential with only a handful of upmarket boutiques dotted along it’s streets. It is surrounded by other areas of merit with Stockbridge to the North, Broughton to the East and of course the West End. Each of these areas have their own micro cultures, which means you don’t have to venture far to enjoy the other highlights of Edinburgh. Add to that the St James development due for completion in 2020 New Town as a location is hard to beat.
That’s why it’s no surprise that Northumberland Street in New Town was recently named the most expensive street in Edinburgh with average prices at just over £1.6million. However, if you love the idea of living in New Town but just can’t quite afford it look around Broughton Street and East Claremont Street which are technically just out with the world heritage site but still share the wide streets and classical architecture.
Av. rent for a 1 bed: £1,000 pcm
Av. rent for a 2 bed: £1,490 pcm
Av. purchase price for a 1 bed: £293,400
Av. purchase price for a 2 bed: £402,846
StockbridgeJust a ten minute walk from the city centre lies Stockbridge, the Sunday brunch epicentre of Edinburgh! Despite being directly next to the city centre it has a very relaxed village feel and a wonderful mix of young professionals, families and retirees living amongst each other.
Home to the extremely popular Stockbridge market every Sunday, design boutiques, and some of the classiest charity shop shopping you will ever encounter, it is a real mix of wealth and statuses that just work perfectly alongside each other. There is even a Waitrose which kind of says it all.
Stockbridge is like the grown-up version of Marchmont so a logical step if moving within Edinburgh following your graduation. With three of the most expensive streets in Edinburgh located here, (Ann Street, Saxe Coburg Place and Danube Street) it certainly won’t be cheap to become a local but as a popular place for young families, investing in the right property or rental now could see you right for the next phase of your life too.
Inverleith Park is accessed from within Stockbridge and leads through to the Botanical Gardens so you have exceptional outdoor spaces right on your doorstep which, unlike the meadows, won’t be overrun with students at the first hint of sunshine. Stockbridge is also a real winner for four legged friends with many a dog friendly establishment found here.
Transport links from Stockbridge aren’t great so is best suited for city centre working which is easily achievable by walking. Travelling by car out of the city in any direction other than North can be frustrating as you will have to cross the city centre which can be a horrendous bottle neck. Haymarket and Waverley are near but not a quick walk if you then have a long commute on top. However, you will probably be willing to put up with these issues as you will be living in Stockbridge after all.
Av. rent for a 1 bed: £825 pcm
Av. rent for a 2 bed: £975 pcm
Av. purchase price for a 1 bed: £261,000
Av. purchase price for a 2 bed: £355,500
Leith/The ShoreHistorically Leith was a wealthy mariner’s town and entirely separate from Edinburgh. As the city spread Leith was engulfed to become just another subset of the capital. However, in reality there is still a distinct culture within Leith with true Leithers making a clear distinction between themselves and folk from Edinburgh.
As the significance of the port decreased so did the wealth which led Leith to become fairly rough around the edges and for a long time not very desirable. However, Leith has undergone massive regeneration with the development of Ocean Terminal which provides an out of town shopping haven and more significantly ‘The Shore’ which sees not one, but two Michelin star restaurants located here alongside numerous other very well-regarded bars and restaurants.
The trendy foodie culture plays into the hands of a thriving young professional scene and the more affordable properties means you will actually have cash left over to enjoy these amenities! Developers have been sensitively restoring impressive period buildings left over from Leith’s heyday into very high-quality accommodation, while other developers have gone to town with modern apartments overlooking the Forth at the Platinum Point development. The period restorations command a premium, as do the luxe new apartments, but there is a healthy supply of more affordable options with a good rate of property turnover so you won’t have to wait too long to find something right for you.
While Leith doesn’t boast the large green open spaces like the city centre, there is Leith Links which offers a largeish open area and of course you can always walk along the seafront…which you definitely can’t do in the centre. You have large Asda and Tesco supermarkets to keep your fridges stocked and the decent existing bus links make getting up to town for work and play a breeze.
Whether you want old or new, Leith offers fantastic value for money and with the tram line extension pencilled for completion in 2023, this already up and coming area has only one way to keep going and that is up. So, get in while there is still opportunity to make a return on a purchase.
Av. rent for a 1 bed: £695 pcm
Av. rent for a 2 bed: £825 pcm
Av. purchase price for a 1 bed: £155,062
Av. purchase price for a 2 bed: £219,772
The West EndThe West End offers sophisticated Georgian living on wide cobbled streets that in many ways have more character than it’s gleaming New Town counterpart. Located next to the financial district it’s ideal for those working in the city centre, or if you want easy access to the tram or trains for a commute.
Properties are elegant with seriously generous Georgian proportions affording spacious living in the city centre. Given its location it’s no wonder the West End is hugely attractive to investors which is one of the reasons why the hardest part of moving to the West End is actually finding a flat! They don’t come on the market often and when they do, they are snapped up, so it definitely pays to make friends with the agents to be the first to hear of any new listings.
Despite being a natural extension of Princes Street, the West End has a very dif