Europe -  Edinburgh, United Kingdom

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Edinburgh is the economic, cultural and political capital of Scotland and has consistently been voted one of the most desirable places to live in the world, contributing to its rapid population growth over the last decade. A compact city steeped in history, with notable cityscapes and exceptional views, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is a renowned weekend-break destination with an expanding (international) airport and fast rail links on the East Coast Mainline branch. Edinburgh is the second most visited city in the UK, owing to its cultural heritage and strategic location. In 2017, the city welcomed over 4.6 million visitors, with total bednights reaching approximately 17.6 million, partly due to the fact that (according to VisitScotland) seven of the 10 most visited attractions in Scotland are located in the capital. 2018 data were not available at the time of writing this commentary.

As the UK’s largest financial centre outside of London, the city manages over £500 billion of funds and employs around 35,000 people in financial services alone. The city is also now home to a thriving technology and software sector, including global companies founded in Edinburgh, such as Skyscanner and Fanduel, that were attracted by proactive local government schemes and a highly skilled workforce. Many of the employees of these companies are graduates from Edinburgh’s universities (around 150,000 students attend the city’s highly ranked educational institutions), which have themselves also helped bolster the city’s profile as an international (executive level) conference destination. Destination agents utilise a multitude of event spaces, including the state-of-the-art Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) strategically located between the office district in Haymarket and the retail centre on Princes Street.

The Edinburgh Festival is made up of a number of different festivals taking place in the city simultaneously. In 2018, the festival sold approximately 2.8 million tickets (a 5.3% increase on 2017) and attracted millions of visitors, making it the largest annual arts festival across the globe. The Edinburgh Festival supports 100% hotel occupancy for a six-week period every year. This festival, alongside other events, such as Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve), and a strong summer season (owing to a high volume of leisure groups), has contributed to year-long average occupancy in Edinburgh of over 80% for the last few years. The market’s average rate growth stagnated somewhat in 2018 after seven consecutive years of growth from 2011 to 2017; however, the city still enjoys one of the highest citywide RevPARs in Europe. Overall, Edinburgh’s hotel values recorded a 0.3% increase in 2018. 

Edinburgh’s tourism has also benefitted from increasing airport arrivals, which grew by a compound annual rate of 6.5% between 2010 and 2018, as an increase in the number of flight connections boosted international tourism. The Scottish Government’s plan to reduce Air Passenger Duty may also help to encourage airlines to develop new international routes, thus increasing tourist numbers. Finally, despite the ongoing political debate regarding another independence referendum for Scotland, Edinburgh’s operational and investment outlook looks positive.

The investment market in Edinburgh continues to be strong with a number of transactions in 2018, including the 186-room Jurys Inn Edinburgh for £52 million, the 115-room Travelodge Cameron Toll for £13 million and the 241-room Walford Astoria The Caledonian for £83 million. In addition, other properties transacted as part of a portfolio, such as the hub by Premier Inn Edinburgh Royal Mile and the Premier Inn Edinburgh Royal Mile (both part of the UK Premier Inn Hotel Portfolio), the Principal George Street and the Principal Charlotte Square (part of the Principal Hotel Portfolio), the Hilton Edinburgh Carlton (part of Amaris UK&I Hilton Portfolio), the 303-room Holiday Inn Edinburgh (part of the Ribbon Portfolio) and the 72-room Eden Locke (part of the SACO Aparthotel Portfolio UK).

Change In Value For Market: (€Euro)

Significant Value Increase: Greater than +10%
Moderate Value Increase: Between +3% and +10%
Stable Values: Between -3% and +3%
Moderate Value Decline: Between -3% and -10%
Significant Value Decline: Less than -10%

For more information, please contact:

Sophie Perret, MRICS, MBA
[email protected]
  • +44 20 7878 7722 (w)
Magali Castells
[email protected]
  • +44 20 7878-7710 (w)
  • +44 7 850205149 (m)