The Edinburgh International Festival (4-28 August 2017) is the largest annual cultural festival in the world and throws an international spotlight on Scotland’s capital.
With a number of festivals all happening at the same time, including the Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the hugely varied programme incorporates around 50,000 performances by artists, musicians, authors, comedians, dancers, jugglers, acrobats and actors from at least 50 different countries worldwide.
The audience is equally diverse, with everyone from students to seasoned culture vultures who book months in advance to see world-class ballet, drama, opera and musical performances in some of the city’s more prestigious venues.
However, for many of these visitors, the bustling, colourful and rather bohemian city would be scarcely recognisable during the remaining 49 weeks of the year. Yet it is perhaps when the last of the posters, bunting, banners and temporary venues have been taken down that the enduring attributes of the city become most apparent.
Edinburgh, more usually typified by Georgian conformity, law, finance and education, consistently attracts a large proportion of non-Scottish buyers. In fact, around 15-20 per cent of Savills buyers each year are from outside Scotland and Edinburgh continues to be the most searched for office on Savills website.
Some buyers may have fallen in love with Edinburgh while visiting, but the majority have existing links with the capital. Many are expats living in locations such as Hong Kong or Singapore hoping to make an investment purchase in order to keep a foothold in the Scottish market. Others are families who are moving from London to Edinburgh for a more affordable lifestyle and education for their children.
Most buyers from outside the capital cite its reputation for a high quality of life, beautiful surroundings, highly regarded schools and comparable value for money as key drivers in their buying decisions.
As a leading financial centre, Edinburgh also has a thriving, broad-based economy with the majority of its residents employed in professional jobs. The relative prosperity of the population is reflected in property prices that are 69 per cent above the national average. However, in terms of value for money, average values are still 49 per cent lower than in London.
Edinburgh is often described as a city that is 'easy' to live in, with owners of handsome Georgian town houses and spacious traditional city-centre flats enjoying easy access to the many facilities on their doorstep.
Its leafy suburbs of Grange, Morningside, Colinton, Inverleith, Trinity, Barnton and Cramond are ever popular with young and growing families, as they are all located close to the city's many excellent schools. Even in a more challenging market, the best of these properties attract multiple offers and achieve premiums for the seller.