This month we will look at the property investment market and the potential opportunities within Scotland’s capital city.
Background and demographics
Edinburgh itself has a population of around 496,000, making it Scotland’s largest centre after Glasgow and the UK’s seventh largest city. The wider area, including East and West Lothian and Midlothian, has a population of around 1.4m.
Statistics suggest Edinburgh has the fastest growing population in Scotland – perhaps partly due to its strong performance in various ‘best places to live’ surveys. ONS projections suggest it has risen by 9% in the last ten years, could rise by 7% by 2025, and go on to reach 619,000 by 2037.
Reports also show that Edinburgh is Scotland’s most popular location for migration with 34,600 migrants arriving to live here over the last three years alone. A report in ‘The Scotsman’, which has relevance as regards Brexit, says that 90% of projected population growth in Scotland is based on current levels of net migration with EU nationals making up 43% of Scotland’s foreign born population.
Edinburgh overall is the wealthiest part of Scotland and one of the wealthiest parts of the UK. The city has the second highest Gross Value Added (GVA) per resident with the average being £34,500 (London is £39,200).
Unlike most large cities Edinburgh’s economy has never been reliant on heavy industry, and so the city did not undergo post-industrial decline on the scale of some others. The largest employers have historically been – and continue to be – health, public administration, education and financial services. Other important and emerging sectors include life sciences, creative industries, software and technology.