Interest in JK Rowling’s house shows buzz in Capital’s market

JK Rowling
JK Rowling
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Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s mansion in Merchiston has become the latest top-end property to be snatched up, as the Capital experiences a pre-Christmas boom in million-pound home sales.

The £2.25 million, eight-bedroom home that belonged to the author was sold to an unidentified buyer as real estate agent Savills confirmed that the Capital’s high-end residential market had been caught up in a sudden rush 
of buyers in the year’s final quarter.

JK Rowling's former home on Abbotsford Park

JK Rowling's former home on Abbotsford Park

Savills sold four £1m-plus properties in a single week at the start of this month, including one home situated on prestigious Nile Grove in Morningside.

It means that seven properties have now been purchased for multi-million sums in the city this year.

That result makes it the best year for £2m-plus property sales in the Capital since 2008, when 14 properties each sold for an average price of £2.49m.

Rowling’s 19th century mansion in Abbotsford Park, which comes with landscaped gardens, spent just 21 days on the market.

A listing on the website of selling agent Rettie & Co had more than 16,000 unique visits in a sign of the overwhelming interest.

At least four of the seven Harry Potter novels were written at the Merchiston home. The multi-millionaire author lived at the property with husband Dr Neil Murray and her three children until 2009.

Selling seasons for such properties have traditionally been in spring and autumn.

Peter Lyell, residential director at Savills Edinburgh, put the mini-boom down to realistic pricing, high amenity locations and affordable borrowing conditions.

He said: “November has been the Edinburgh prime market’s busiest month this year, mirroring the pattern in 2011 with Savills still doing deals on Christmas eve.

“Prime houses that are freshly launched to the market in the best locations are not available for long.

“It appears that sellers are accepting realistic offers so that they can get on with their lives, and that buyers are keen to get in by the end of the year.”

Mr Lyell said the sale of one traditional family house on Craiglea Drive, Morningside, in the £1m-plus bracket had been reminiscent of conditions before the economic downturn.

He added: “This was like the good old days, with potential buyers having to be organised in block viewings. This generated competitive bids at a closing date within two weeks of its launch.”

Two properties to have sold for more than £2m this year have been in Meadow Park, with the others in Merchiston, Murrayfield, Craigleith and Morningside.

Half the buyers were from Edinburgh, with the others from Dubai, Moscow and Guernsey.

Real estate agent Strutt & Parker has five Edinburgh properties on the market at £2m-plus, with three of those available privately.

Blair Stewart, Strutt & Parker’s partner in charge of Edinburgh city sales, said: “We are also seeing a reasonable level of interest in this premium stock, which is surprising at this time of year when traditionally the market goes very quiet in the run-up to Christmas.

“This year we have sold three properties in Edinburgh in excess of £2m, all of which were situated in the Grange and the south side of the city.”

Rettie & Co property agent James Whitson, who managed the sale of Rowling’s mansion, said the interest in the elaborate home demonstrates the pull of luxury properties.

He added: “It also illustrates there is a shortage in Edinburgh and that when any property is correctly priced, it will attract significant interest and, in most cases, a buyer.”