Skip to main content Skip to footer

Edinburgh ranks as top UK city for residential investment

17 12 21 Edinburgh ranks as top UK city for residential investment hero

All change in the top three cities in Colliers’ analysis for H2 2021

Edinburgh’s solid house price growth, highly educated residents and expected population growth has seen it take the top spot for residential investment in Colliers’ latest Top UK Residential Investment Cities report.

The Scottish capital moved up from second place, pushing Cambridge into the runner-up position, while London rose from fourth into third position in the H2 2021 report.

Less positive GDP growth and employment forecasts saw Cambridge knocked off of the top spot in the second publication of the analysis of 20 UK cities against 20 indicators covering economy, property, education and liveability. Average earnings declined in the city while income inequality rose, and unemployment forecasts were revised to be less favourable than six months ago. 

Bristol and Manchester dropped out of the top five rankings, being replaced by Oxford in fourth and Belfast as fifth.

Andrew White, head of Residential and International Properties at Colliers said: “Six months since we first published our Investment Cities report and not one UK city has stayed in the same place. All of the cities we’ve examined are great locations for investment, however the reasons to invest in them are changeable. 

“Many of the locations in the top ten have great educational institutions which make them attractive to domestic and overseas investors alike. They also have good opportunities for employment which ensures retention of these students, fuelling the steady house price and rental growth many of them see. However, they’re not homogenous locations, they all have their different strengths as well; Belfast has better rental yields compared to London, while Edinburgh has lower rates of unemployment and high scores for life satisfaction from residents.”

Colliers’ top ten cities for investment in H2 2021 are:

1. Edinburgh (up one place)
2. Cambridge (down one place)
3. London (up one place)
4. Oxford (up nine places)
5. Belfast (up two places)
6. Manchester (down one place)
7. Bristol (down four places)
8. Glasgow (up three places)
9. Milton Keynes (up one place)
10. Reading (down two places)

Oliver Kolodseike, author of the report, said: “During the last six months there has been a fair amount of movement among the cities in our ranking. Oxford shot up nine places into fourth due to improvements in the income inequality, earnings and life satisfaction indicators. The city has a low unemployment rate and the average earnings growth rate has increased from 1.3 per cent to 12.3 per cent since our last survey.
“By looking at 20 indicators we can really examine and hone in on the reasons why a city is a good place to live and ultimately invest in. While in our overall analysis we’ve applied equal weights across the four overarching pillars these can be tailored depending on each investor’s priorities.”

Request the Top UK Residential Investment Cities report

View our Residential services

Related Experts

Andrew White

Head of UK Residential & International Properties Asia

Residential - Development

London - West End

Andrew heads up the UK Residential & International Properties (Asia) Department at Colliers and is a specialist advisor in residential and mixed use developments.  He has been involved in some of the largest and most complex sites within the U.K.

The Residential Department at Colliers comprises a market leading  team of  surveyors and advisers who focus on London, The South East and the Regions, advising  clients on their options for maximising value for their assets, including planning, development consultancy, Build To Rent, investment and disposal strategy and New Homes & Project marketing, both in the UK and Internationally.

Andrew has worked in the sector since 1994  having started his career with a large multinational real estate agency, then running his own land agency for 8 years before joining Colliers in 2013. He has advised government bodies such as the NHS, as well as family businesses, funds, charities, developers and companies on their strategy for disposal of their land holdings and property assets.

Clients include, Legal & General, the NHS, Royal London Asset Management, The Diocese of London, London Square, Telereal Trilium, Threadneedle, Aberdeen Standard, Greggs, Rexel and PSA Group as well as other large corporate landowners.

View expert

Oliver Kolodseike

Director of Economics and Research

Research and Forecasting

London - West End

Oliver is Head of Economic Research and leads the quarterly UK forecasting process including the publication of Colliers' Real Estate Investment Forecasts (REIF) report. He also  authors the monthly Property Snapshot and, quarterly Scotland Snapshot. Prior to joining Colliers, he worked for the Centre for Economics and Business Research and IHS Markit. Oliver holds a BA in Economics from  Georg-August University Göttingen (Germany) and an MSc in Economics from Exeter University.

View expert

Kim Inam

PR Manager

Marketing & Communications

London - West End

I'm a communications professional who has previously worked as a journalist for eight years covering a broad range of topics including politics, crime, health and housing in north London. In recent years I have worked in corporate communications for local authorities across London  and joined Colliers in October 2019, initially providing maternity leave cover.

I provide strategic public relations advice to various business lines within the UK organisation to secure recognition for their work in the property press as well as key target media, and work with our experts to produce thought leadership pieces which are of interest to our clients and colleagues within the commercial real estate sector. In addition, alongside colleagues in the PR and wider communications team, I provide media and social media training for our in-house experts to prepare them for media opportunities and raise their personal brand within the sector.

As well as supporting various teams within the UK business, I also I curate and edit regular content for the blog, which drives credible business leads to our experts.


View expert