Demand remains strong for suburban and rural properties - but signs that buyers are returning to Edinburgh city centre

The last three months saw a continuation of high levels of activity on the property market across Edinburgh, particularly from buyers hoping to secure future-proof homes outside of the city centre.

By Gordon Holmes
Friday, 8th October 2021, 3:00 pm
ESPC House Price Report - September 2021. Pic: Hamish Campbell.
ESPC House Price Report - September 2021. Pic: Hamish Campbell.

The latest monthly ESPC House Price Report, which covers the period July to September, reveals that overall, homes in Edinburgh saw their average selling price rise by 2.5% to £290,882, however, there are variations on average selling prices, depending on property types and neighbourhoods.

For example, properties in the city’s south western suburbs experienced a 26.2% increase in average selling price, to £402,403, while homes in the city centre saw a 4.2% reduction, to £320,575.

Three-bedroom houses in the north west neighbourhoods of Cramond, Barnton and Cammo rose 41.5%, taking the average selling price to £467,043, and two-bedroom flats in the West End and New Town increased by 30.1% to £452,661, as demand began to bounce back for this type of property. These selling price increases are in part due to much higher volumes of property sales in these areas, resulting in a broader range of properties coming to market.

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A higher volume of lower-priced properties came onto the market during July-September 2021, resulting in the average Home Report valuation being down by 4.8%.

In Edinburgh, three-bedroom houses in Cramond, Barnton and Cammo proved popular once more, as buyers bid 109.4% of Home Report valuation on average – an increase of 9.4 percentage points, while one-bedroom flats in Abbeyhill and Meadowbank saw a 6.1 percentage point reduction, with homes selling for an average 102.6% of the valuation.

Buyers snapped up homes in a matter of days during July-September 2021, particularly in rural areas and city suburbs.

In Edinburgh city centre, properties sold eight days slower than they did in July-September 2020, with a median selling time of 30 days, but the suburbs maintained high levels of buyer demand, with properties in the north west selling in a median of 13 days – 49 days faster year-on-year – and three-bedroom houses in Cramond, Barnton and Cammo also in a median of 13 days, which was 58 days quicker than last year.

As far as property sales overall are concerned, Leith once again boasted the highest volume; two-bedroom flats here were the most-purchased property, with a 38.9% increase on sales in comparison to 2020. This was followed by one-bedroom flats in the area, up 41.4%.

The demand has been intensified by a reduced number of properties coming to the market, down 31.1% year-on-year. This can be attributed to an influx of homes listed immediately following the lockdown lifting in June/July 2020, and a flood of homeowners looking to find a new home. For balance, 2021’s figures are 2.18% above the levels of 2019, showing that the market is beginning to return to more normal levels.

Paul Hilton, CEO of ESPC, said: “This has been yet another busy quarter for the property market with increasing buyer demand in evidence across most of our markets.

“Unsurprisingly, we’re continuing to see that homes in Edinburgh’s suburbs and more rural regions outside of the Capital, such as Fife and East Lothian, are the most in-demand, as buyers look for properties that can offer flexibility in the longer term. However, we are starting to see a return to form for flats in some sought-after areas of Edinburgh’s city centre, indicating increasing desire to reside in the heart of the Capital.

“The volume of available properties is returning to where we would have expected to see them pre-pandemic; however, with more buyers searching for homes and less availability on the market, we can expect this to impact average selling prices, the amount over Home Report valuation properties will attain and the speed at which homes go under offer.

“But there are higher levels of more affordable homes on the market, meaning that there are still plenty of options for first-time buyers.

“If you are considering buying or selling in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders, get in touch with your local ESPC solicitor estate agent today.”

For more from ESPC, or to view properties currently on the market, visit