Festival city is a global hotspot


Starting on Friday, the Scottish capital will welcome thousands of people to its combined Festival Fringe, International Festival, Book Festival and Military Tattoo and the fun doesn’t stop until August 27. 

What that tells you about Edinburgh is that the residents know how to have a good time (or at least when to rent out their homes and go on holiday) and the city is both friendly and inventive. 

For the past two years it’s also been one of the UK’s property hotspots.

In the first two months of 2018 homes in Edinburgh and the Lothians were selling for an average 7.4 per cent over their Home Report valuations. 

But according to the city’s Warners Solicitors and Estate Agents, prices have started to cool. 

Although properties are still selling for above the valuation price, the figure has dropped to 6.3 per cent.

Warners’ operations director David Marshall puts this down to an increase in the supply of homes for sale and reduction in the number of buyers, but he adds: “Demand is still exceeding supply. 

“Most properties are selling for more than their Home Report valuation and the market is still a challenging one from a buyer’s perspective.” 

First-time buyers are hardest hit by the situation, says Marshall, because most lenders are only willing to give a mortgage up to the Home Report valuation figure. 

“If you want to offer any more than the valuation figure you will need to have this money available in addition to your deposit,” he says. 

“Most first-time buyers don’t have the cash available to allow them to do this, making it very hard for people to get on the property ladder.” 

New-build properties don’t usually pose this problem because prices are fixed by the developer and although they are usually higher per square metre than for second-hand properties, they come with the benefits of building warranties and integrated appliances in kitchens and bathrooms. 

A new community of one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments, penthouses and properties are being built at Canonmills Gardens on the site of the former B&Q warehouse on the Water of Leith, Edinburgh’s main river flowing to the Port of Leith and the Firth of Forth. 

The apartments will be set within landscaped gardens and the first phase, Carlina, has 20 one and two-bedroom apartments with prices starting from £297,000 (0800 073 0040; canonmillsgarden.com). 

But one of the most spectacular new developments in Edinburgh is The Crescent, a glass-fronted curve of 84 luxury apartments on the 18-acre grounds of the former Donaldson’s College, in the city’s New Town Unesco World Heritage Site.

The homes will overlook the elaborate sandstone Gothic building, a former children’s hospital and school, which has Elizabethan-style cupolas and turrets and was designed by architect William Playfair, who was responsible for Edinburgh’s Scottish National Gallery. 

Cala Homes (East) has already transformed the building, which had stood empty for a decade, into luxury apartments with period fittings and The Crescent is at the back of the college, just a stone’s throw from Haymarket and the heart of Edinburgh. 

Its first phase of 11 homes priced from £599,000 to £1,925,000 are now on sale. 

Eight have already been sold. 

A temporary sales office has been set up at The Balmoral Hotel to provide information on the next homes available (01313 413530; cala.co.uk).



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