Edinburgh locals tell of being priced out of neighbourhood as house prices soar
As a new ESPC report showed that many Edinburgh neighbourhoods are seeing incredible jumps in price, with an average home anywhere in the city costing £295,979, local Edinburgh residents are being priced out of neighbourhoods that used to be accessible.
In North West Edinburgh, houses are selling shockingly quickly, with homes going on average in just seven days. And over just the past year, homes in the area have increased in price by a staggering 21.4 percent.
The Silverknowes area, and the North West of the city more broadly, has long been sought after, with good access to the city, local amenities and in the catchment area of good schools- including Edinburgh Royal High School. However, it used to be far more accessible for people to buy in and many locals would be unable to buy a home in the area if they were looking for property now.
READMORE: Edinburgh house prices rising by a whopping £102 a day in startling new figures
To get a better understanding of how these areas have changed over the years, and to get their reaction on the growing house prices in the area, we spoke to a number of residents from Silverknowes and Davidson Mains to get their opinions.
Sheila Porteous has lived in Silverknowes for the past seven years. Even in that time, she has noticed a large increase in the prices and speed of houses being sold in the area.
Sheila said: “You notice when houses go up for sale. They go up and are on offer right away, they go very quickly.
“I was in the hospital recently and the surgeon who was operating on me asked where I stayed. When I told him Silverknowes he said ‘oh I eventually got a house in Silverknowes! What a job we had getting one. We put offers in and lost so many houses.'”
Phil Robinson lived in Silverknowes on and off his whole life. He believes that house prices have doubled over the past 15 years.
Phil said: “The guy that lives next door, his daughter moved away recently and wanted to move back. They tried to buy this house but they couldn’t afford it.
“The vast majority of the public can’t afford this kind of money. I mean it’s alright for people who have really good jobs, who work in finance but the regular people who work in shops or tradesmen or nurses, they can’t afford houses like this.
“Our house was sold in under two weeks. Really it was ten days, it would’ve been shorter but our house hit the market the day before the Easter holidays so everything was shut and people were away.
Derek Fong, believes that house prices are going up so high because of the amount of additions and extensions people have been adding to their homes.
He said: “I think people are getting priced out of the neighbourhood because people come here for the school. I think that’s why the prices go up here more than in other parts of the city.
“We struggled to get a house eight years ago. We had to rent for quite a bit of time and prices were going up even back then. Maybe not as bad as right now but we still had to be quick and if we didn’t get in then we wouldn’t have.
“They go quickly around here. Two weeks at most around here. When we got this house there were about 20 viewers and it was gone in three or four days. That was eight years ago.
David Dougal moved here ten years ago. He said that the house prices in the area have gone up by 50% in just that time and he wouldn’t be able to afford to buy here now.
David said: “Definitely noticed house prices going up in the time we came here. It’s crazy, I don’t even know how that’s affordable now, I don’t think we could afford to move here. That’s not affordable for me anymore.
“I know a lot of parents we speak to in the playgroup nearby, they grew up here and can’t afford to move back here now that they have families. I mean it’s a good family area, people used to move here for the schools.
“There are parents who go to the playgroup in Silverknowes who grew up here, went to the playgroup and wanted to pass that onto their kids. Many of them can’t afford to live here. They didn’t have to move far out of the area but they still had to buy outside the area.
“They move quite quickly around here. It’s crazy because when we moved in we were actually the only people who came to see the house and we were even able to negotiate on the price. But if we had to buy now we would have to look somewhere else, we couldn’t afford to live here.
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With Davidson Mains Primary close by, another well regarded school in the area, house prices further afield are still far higher than they used to be. While some younger couples are still able to move into the area, it remains a challenge for them to find a suitable house within their price range.
We spoke to one couple who just moved to Davidson Mains. They admit that finding their current house was nothing short of a stroke of luck and that they are some of the youngest people in the neighbourhood.
The couple say they’ve done nothing but save since leaving university and many of their friends are still forced to rent.
Even then, they are now having to completely gut their new property and start again. With the house being untouched since the 1980s. To save money, they are trying to do as much of the work themselves as possible.
29-year-old Sam Waterson said: “We’ve been here for 18 months now. We have noticed the ones that come up for sale are going up in price. We got this for under value which was a minor miracle, frankly.
“I grew up just down the road and we both work in the city centre so somewhere that was commutable was ideal. Davidson Mains has really changed, there’s a lot of residential areas now. It’s busier than it was even from 18 months ago.
“We didn’t even get this house. We put an offer in and someone else put in another offer way over what we could. But the lady who owned the house happened to die and the other people who put in the offer couldn’t wait the few months it would take to transfer the property to the inheritor.
“I think it was a miracle that we got this place and we managed to get this place for under the asking price and that’s unheard of. Completely unheard of.
“I mean we are having to gut the place and start again because it hasn’t been touched in nearly 30 years but we are getting there.
“It feels like we were just in the right place at the right time. We couldn’t afford this place if it was recently done up.”
Kate Smith has lived in Davidson Mains for twenty years. In that time she has noticed a dramatic increase in the price of houses in the area and thinks this will go on to change the way the community looks in the future.
Kate said: “At the moment we are getting a lot of older people coming into the area. Prices were almost pricing people out of the neighbourhood when we moved over.
“I work in public affairs so I’m not the typical person you would get in these areas so I think it is becoming, if you want to use the terms blue collar and white collar, more white collar.
“I suppose it has been gentrified, they go off the market really quickly around here.”