League tables show council needs to work with private sector - John McLellan
Edinburgh usually scores quite well in such ratings, particularly those relating to lifestyle and work opportunities, and the latest is a quarterly Key Cities Tracker from a London-based consultancy, JPES Partners, which shows Edinburgh climbing ten places to eighth in the UK.
Measuring economic vitality, Edinburgh’s performance is due to comparatively strong jobs growth, a “faster-than-average” population increase and a resilient housing market, although being behind Cardiff and Wolverhampton is nothing to crow about.
There was more good news with a report from agents Knight Frank that the value of investment in the commercial property market this year was ahead of the whole of 2022, with £596 million of deals completed compared to £555m last year.
Retail deals were worth £170m and set to be the best performance since 2017, which again signals confidence in what Edinburgh has to offer, but it also illustrates the problem the council will have in trying to force landowners to give up retail space to make way for housing, a key policy behind the new city plan.
Ironically, the reasons for success in the Cities Tracker spell more problems for the supply and affordability of housing, and whatever the council’s “housing emergency” stunt achieves, it needs to work with the private sector and not rely on forcing landowners out of commercial markets they don’t want to leave.