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Buying a property in Edinburgh: a complete guide

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Yes, the analysis of Edinburgh's property market is included in our pack

Considering buying a nice property in Edinburgh? You're not alone!

Many people are captivated by Edinburgh's historical charm and dream of owning a period house or a contemporary apartment there.

Would it be a good investment, though? Are property prices increasing in Edinburgh? Is it expensive? Should I buy property in the Old Town or Stockbridge? What are the property taxes? What yields can I expect?

We know the answers.

The Investropa team has done their homework on this market. As a matter of fact, we've gathered all our findings in a pack. Get it now.

In the lines below, we'll provide you with helpful information.

How is the real estate market in Edinburgh?

How is the property market faring? Let's gather and interpret the data to know for sure.

Types of properties

In Edinburgh, you can find various types of properties for sale, including apartments, houses, townhouses, and flats.

These properties range in size from cozy studios and one-bedroom options to larger multi-bedroom homes, catering to different preferences and family sizes.

Additionally, some properties might offer unique features like garden spaces or historical architecture.

Whether you're looking for a modern city apartment or a traditional house, Edinburgh's property market offers a diverse range of options to suit your needs and lifestyle.

What's better: buy or rent?

(If you're buying for yourself and not to rent out)

If Edinburgh is your city of choice, you may be pondering the buy vs. rent decision in this historical and culturally rich Scottish capital.

Generally, buying is a better choice than renting in Edinburgh due to the city's strong real estate market and low interest rates.

On the other hand, renting might be the better fit if you value flexibility.

Property pricing in Edinburgh

On average, according to the last data from Halifax and Bank of Scotland, purchasing a property in Edinburgh should cost you around $3,100 per square meter.

Of course, there are noticeable differences. The value of a square meter for a city-center apartment in Edinburgh might differ from a suburban house in Leith. You'll get a more detailed in our pack for buying property in Edinburgh and in the UK.

To put things in perspective, it is 6.1 times less than the property prices in the center of New York.

Also, housing prices in Edinburgh are 78% cheaper than in London.

The most expensive neighbourhoods in Edinburgh are probably New Town and Stockbridge, while the cheapest are likely to be Craigmillar and Wester Hailes.

Edinburgh Property Price per Square Meter


First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that the United Kingdom remains, today, a very stable country. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 40.6.

Keep this in view when pondering the viability of buying a property in in Edinburgh.

Also, according to the IMF’s forecasts, the UK's economy is expected to soar by 6% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 1.2%.

If you want to invest in real estate in Edinburgh it's a good thing because, usually, when the economy grows, people make more money, and this encourages them to invest in real estate, which drives up the demand and prices for properties.

Also, in the UK, the average GDP per capita has changed by 0.5% over the last 5 years. The growth, although minimal, is still present.

Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in the UK right now.

Buying property in Edinburgh

Buying real estate in Edinburgh can be a difficult process due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Edinburgh and in the UK.

Buying process

Inside our pack, we've outlined the complete buying process, including a detailed breakdown of prices and yields per area, tips for negotiating the price, and information about mortgage options.

Here, we're presenting you with a more straightforward version.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Edinburgh:

  1. Save for a deposit, usually 5-20% of the property price.
  2. Get a mortgage pre-approval from a lender based in the UK.
  3. Engage a solicitor or conveyancer familiar with Scottish property law.
  4. Search for suitable properties on websites like ESPC, Rightmove, or Zoopla.
  5. Arrange viewings with the seller or through the estate agent.
  6. Make an offer through your solicitor using the Scottish Standard Clauses.
  7. Negotiate the offer, considering the Home Report and any specific conditions.
  8. Conduct a property survey to assess the property's condition and value.
  9. Finalize mortgage details with your lender.
  10. Exchange contracts with the seller's solicitor and pay a deposit (usually 10%).
  11. Arrange for property insurance, including buildings and contents cover.
  12. Complete the purchase on the agreed-upon date (the "settlement date") and receive the keys to your new Edinburgh property.

Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in the UK.

Make a profitable investment in Edinburgh

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buying property in Edinburgh

Where to find a property

Looking for properties in Edinburgh? These websites can help:

  • Zoopla - Find properties, check house prices, and get expert advice on buying, renting, and selling homes.
  • Rightmove - A property search platform in the UK, offering homes for sale and rent, house prices, and property news.
  • Find UK Property - Specialists in UK property for overseas buyers, UK expats, and buy-to-let investors. They offer low-cost houses with guaranteed rent and property management.
  • - The UK's comprehensive property search platform, connecting buyers and renters to over 566,000 properties and numerous estate and letting agents.
  • On the Market - A property search platform offering UK homes for sale and rent, featuring new properties before they appear on Rightmove or Zoopla.

Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in the UK.

What you can get

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in Edinburgh is $3,100. A one-bedroom property (60 sqm) would cost around $186,000, and a two-bedroom (85 sqm) would be about $264,000.

However, the amount you pay for a property can be different based on its characteristics and where it's found.

Housing prices in the top areas of Edinburgh are usually at a premium. Imagine a residence in New Town with an asking price of approximately $750,000, while a residence in Morningside might be priced at around $700,000.

Some locations are less expensive. You could find a condominium in Granton for $100,000 or a condominium in Wester Hailes that's only $80,000.

We give more details about property types and areas in our full pack for buying property in the UK.

Common pitfalls

Here are the main pitfalls when buying property in Edinburgh, Scotland:

  • Listed Buildings: Historic properties may have strict preservation regulations, limiting renovations and affecting future resale value.
  • Scottish Property Law: Unique legal aspects, like the "tenement management scheme," can lead to complex ownership structures and disputes.
  • Weather-Related Issues: Edinburgh's damp climate can cause hidden moisture damage and impact property maintenance costs.
  • Property Factors: Research the reputation and reliability of property management companies responsible for communal areas and maintenance.
  • Short-Lived Home Reports: The validity of the seller's Home Report is only 12 weeks, so ensure it's up-to-date before making an offer.
  • Thistle Tax: Additional taxes apply to properties valued over £250,000, potentially increasing the overall buying costs.
  • HMO Licensing: Properties with multiple occupants may require a House in Multiple Occupation license, affecting rental income potential.
  • Scottish Land Reform Act: Familiarize yourself with land rights, as community buyouts or future changes to land laws may impact property usage.

We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.

real estate The United Kingdom

Everything you need to know is included in our United Kingdom Property Pack

Living in Edinburgh

Living in Edinburgh is an exciting and fulfilling experience, offering a vibrant cultural life, stunning scenery, and excellent transport links.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Edinburgh is generally higher than in other parts of the UK, but is still considered relatively affordable compared to other major cities in Europe. Prices for housing, food, transportation, and entertainment are all higher than the UK average, but still lower than other major cities.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Edinburgh:

  • Monthly rent for a charming apartment in the historic Old Town or Stockbridge: £1,200-£2,000.
  • A dram of local Scotch whisky (e.g., Glenfiddich or Glenmorangie) at a traditional pub: £4-£8.
  • Monthly transportation pass for buses and trams within Edinburgh: £50-£80.
  • A cup of traditional Scottish breakfast tea at a local tearoom: £2-£4.
  • Admission to the Edinburgh Castle: £15-£20.
  • Monthly membership at a Edinburgh-based fitness studio or yoga studio: £30-£60.
  • Fresh produce from the weekly Edinburgh Farmers' Market: £20-£40 per week.
  • A bottle of local Scottish gin (e.g., Edinburgh Gin) from a liquor store: £25-£40.


We like to show information in an easy-to-understand way. So, we made a summary table that lists the different parts of Edinburgh. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Neighborhood Description Strengths Weaknesses

New Town

New Town is an elegant Georgian neighborhood with beautiful architecture, bustling shops, and cultural attractions.

Well-preserved historic buildings, vibrant shopping and dining scene, and easy access to city center.

Can be expensive, crowded at times, limited green spaces.

Old Town

Old Town is the historic heart of Edinburgh, featuring the iconic Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle.

Rich history, stunning medieval architecture, and a wide range of tourist attractions.

Can be crowded with tourists, limited parking, some areas are hilly.


Leith is a trendy waterfront district known for its creative community, excellent restaurants, and lively bars.

Artistic and bohemian atmosphere, diverse dining options, close proximity to the sea.

Some areas can be rough, occasional noise from nightlife activities.


Stockbridge offers a charming village-like feel with independent boutiques, quaint cafes, and scenic walks along the Water of Leith.

Picturesque surroundings, community spirit, and a great selection of local businesses.

Relatively high property prices, limited parking, can get busy on weekends.


Marchmont is a residential area known for its Victorian and Edwardian architecture and its proximity to the Meadows park.

Close to the city center, peaceful green spaces, and a vibrant student community.

Limited public transport options, parking can be challenging, some areas are hilly.


Morningside is a leafy suburb with a village-like atmosphere, offering a mix of independent shops and cafes.

Quiet and family-friendly, good schools, and well-connected by public transport.

Can be expensive, limited nightlife options, traffic congestion during peak hours.


Grassmarket is a historic area with a vibrant nightlife scene, overlooked by Edinburgh Castle.

Historical charm, lively pubs and restaurants, and proximity to major attractions.

Noisy at night, limited parking, can get crowded with tourists.

Life in Edinburgh

The economy of Edinburgh is largely driven by the financial and business services sector, with the city being home to many of the UK’s leading financial institutions. Additionally, there is a thriving tourism industry, with Edinburgh being one of the most visited cities in the UK.

What expats usually like the most in Edinburgh is the vast array of cultural activities, such as the annual Edinburgh Festival, and the city's stunning architecture, including the iconic Edinburgh Castle.

Regarding safety, the crime rate of Edinburgh is around 31, which is a fairly good score. Edinburgh has a strong police presence and a culture of respect for the law, which has resulted in a low crime rate.

A good point for a property investor - Edinburgh has an extensive mass rapid transit system known as the Edinburgh Trams.

Access to healthcare in Edinburgh is more than excellent, with a Healthcare Index of 79. A robust healthcare system always reflects positively on real estate.

Finally, it is worth noting that the University of Edinburgh is among the top 30 universities in the world.

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Renting out in Edinburgh

This section is for you if you're interested in purchasing property not for personal residence, but rather for the purpose of renting it out to generate rental income.


Tenant Profiles in Edinburgh

According to the data reported by Wikipedia, the home ownership rate in the UK is 63%, which is not much.

It means that, if you decide to buy and rent out in Edinburgh, there will be a lot of people who can become your potential tenants.

If you decide to buy and rent out to long-term tenants, you should target professionals and students due to the city's large student population and large number of financial and tech jobs. Additionally, due to the city's high cost of living, there is a high demand for rental properties from short-term tenants such as tourists and business travellers.

Here is a little summary table we've made for you.

Property type and area Profiles of potential tenants What they are looking for Expected monthly rent in $

Studio in Old Town

Students, young professionals

Historical charm, city center

$700 - $1,500

Apartment in New Town

Professionals, families

Elegant architecture, amenities

$1,200 - $2,800

House in Morningside

Families, academics

Suburban tranquility, schools

$1,800 - $3,500

Flat in Leith

Youthful, creative renters

Artistic scene, waterfront

$1,000 - $2,200

1-Bedroom Apartment in Stockbridge

Young professionals, couples

Boutiques, green spaces

$900 - $1,800

Penthouse in Dean Village

Affluent renters, executives

Scenic living, exclusivity

$2,500 - $5,000

2-Bedroom Flat in Marchmont

Students, professionals

Academic environment, cafes

$1,200 - $2,500

Rental yields

Nowadays, rental yields in Edinburgh are usually below 5%. It's not much. A good rental yield is usually around 7% or higher. Maybe, you knew it already.

Properties in areas with high student populations tend to have the best rental yields in Edinburgh, as students are always looking for rental accommodation and are willing to pay a premium for it. Additionally, properties near universities and in areas with good public transport links will also tend to have higher yields, as they are more desirable for tenants.

For further explanation and a more detailed breakdown, you can check the reports and analyses we have made.

Finally, be aware that rental incomes in Edinburgh are taxed at 20%, which is rather good.


You could also decide to rent short-term to business travelers, tourists, and students studying abroad in Edinburgh. Additionally, locals looking for a short-term stay may also be interested in renting a short-term rental in Edinburgh.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in the Old Town and New Town areas of Edinburgh as they are popular tourist destinations and offer great rental opportunities. Additionally, the Leith area is also a great option for short-term rentals due to its close proximity to the city centre.

Currently, there are approximately 8,000 active Airbnb listings in Edinburgh, reflecting a highly dynamic and bustling short-term rental market. The average daily rate stands around $193, which is quite high.

You have the opportunity to generate a nice additional income stream then. Based on feedback from online testimonials and data analytics platforms such as AirDNA, Guesty, and Inside Airbnb, people who offer short-term rentals in Edinburgh can make around $3500 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 84%.

Is it worth buying real estate in Edinburgh then?

Certainly, when it comes to buying a property in Edinburgh, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. It largely depends on your specific circumstances and goals.

If you're planning to settle down in Edinburgh for the long haul and prioritize stability and potential long-term gains, buying a property can make sense. Edinburgh boasts a strong real estate market, relatively low interest rates, and a diverse range of property options. It's a city with historical charm, a growing economy, and a vibrant cultural scene, making it an attractive place to call home.

However, if your plans are more short-term or flexibility is a top priority, renting might be the better choice. Property transactions come with associated costs and can tie you down to a specific location.

Moreover, if you're solely focused on maximizing rental income, Edinburgh's rental yields, which tend to be below 5%, may not meet your expectations. Budget constraints should also be considered, as property prices, while lower than in some other major cities, still require a significant financial commitment.

In essence, buying a property in Edinburgh can be a fantastic investment for some, offering stability and potential appreciation, but it's not necessarily the right choice for everyone, and careful consideration of your individual circumstances and goals is essential before making such a significant financial decision.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Edinburgh

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in the UK. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Edinburgh

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.