Comment: Trams make the area you live in sexier

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MIND the house price gap. Homeowners who live close to the Capital’s new tram line could see property values increase by around 15 per cent, according to our story today.

This is the conclusion of experts at the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre, who are the most accurate when it comes to predicting house price trends in the city.

For those near the line, this is probably one of the first pieces of good news since the troubled 
£776 million project was first mooted. For others who are looking to buy in this area, it could mean higher premiums on those properties.

Commercial properties values are also likely to see an increase while rental values could soar for those flats close to the tram.

However, the most interesting and powerful effect will come from parts of the city who do not yet have the tram.

Consider those in Leith. Many would like the transport benefits of a tram line. But add in the powerful economic boost of an increase in land values and homeowners, businesses and developers will form a powerful triumvirate in lobbying for an extension to the line.

Similarly, other areas of the city are likely to push hard for a tram if investment and jobs start moving elsewhere.

The evidence for this is strong and has been seen in several other cities with new tram lines. Dublin is the nearest example where the opening of the Luas in 2004, led to immediate house price increases for those close to the line. Later, a number of new housing developments began on the back of the opening of the line.

For those who support the establishment of a proper city-wide tram network, this is strong evidence.

It shows that not only do trams makes your morning commute “sexier”, they also make the area you live in sexier. And many of us will want a piece of that.