Bankers' bonuses go a long way in Edinburgh

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Finding a property in London is expensive, as incoming Bank of England governor Mark Carney demonstrated when he demanded £250k in relocation costs to rent a flat in walking distance of Threadneedle Street. The days of investment bankers hoovering up prime property in London are dwindling, as shrinking bonuses are increasingly deferred.

In Edinburgh, meanwhile, Scotland’s battered banking industry ensures that there are fewer mansions being bought by financial professionals, but the thriving fund management sector north of the border means a steady supply of potential purchasers.

“Financial services professionals continue to buy prime property in Edinburgh, but in far fewer numbers and slightly lower down the market than before the crisis,” says Richard Loudon, partner at Edinburgh estate agents Simpson & Marwick. “There are also some who realise that the value in house prices, private schooling and quality of life in Edinburgh are so much better than London that they buy in Edinburgh and weekly commute.”

Assuming you wanted to escape the rat race and move to the Scottish capital, could you really get much more for your money? Most fund managers and senior bankers tend to live in New Town, Morningside or Murrayfield in Edinburgh, according to Scottish fund management headhunter Joanna Black, or move further afield and commute from the countryside into the city.

Most bankers in London tend to favour Kensington, Chelsea, Notting Hill and Fulham. In the current era of austerity, this may seem a little ostentatious, but here’s an indication of the types of property in the upper end of the market in Edinburgh and how this compares with areas of London frequented investment bankers.

Castle Gogar, £2.9m and up, six miles outside Edinburgh


Yes, it’s possible to buy a 17th century castle in spitting distance from Edinburgh city centre, complete with six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and six reception rooms. Oh, and 3.6 acres of land.

How London compares:

Fulham is a popular area of London for financiers willing to commute a little more than most. For £2.9m, you can secure this five bedroom house with the ‘luxury’ of off-street parking and a private garage. And a 48-foot garden. It’s also possible to buy a five-bed house for the more modest price of £1.4m in SW6.

4-bed Georgian townhouse, New Town, £1.19m+


The affluent New Town area of Edinburgh offers both classic Georgian houses and more modern options, such as this 5-bed townhouse, but they both exceed £1m. Danube Street is within the ‘village’ of Stockbridge in Central Edinburgh and this house offers four floors, and two cellars.

How London compares:

If you want to buy a house in the desirable ‘village’ of Chelsea and Kensington then you’re going to have to fork out an average of £8.1m, according to Rightmove. Even flats average at £1.3m, it says, such as this two-bed flat in Carlyle Court in Chelsea Habour.

9-bed house in Morningside, £2.3m


As well as nine bedrooms, this house also has its own cinema, and a games room (clearly decked out by a long-term bachelor), but the pics suggest that some serious interior decorating is needed. It’s in the Morningside district to the south of Edinburgh and in an easily commutable distance from the city centre.

How London compares:

If you have £2.3m to spend in Notting Hill, the most you can expect is a ‘luxurious’ flat of two to four bedrooms, such as this one on Pembridge Gardens or this four-bed house near Portobello Road. Thanks, Hugh and Julia.

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