Edinburgh bags a top ten place in major study of ‘cities of influence’

Edinburgh has been named in the top 10.
Edinburgh has been named in the top 10.
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Edinburgh has been given a top billing in a major survey of the most influential cities in Europe for firms looking to occupy and invest in commercial property.

The Scottish capital was ranked seventh overall and the highest placed of those with a population catchment below two million, while Glasgow was placed 24th overall in Colliers International’s latest European Cities of Influence report.

The property adviser’s study reviews and ranks cities based on their occupier attractiveness, availability of talent, and quality of life factors, alongside economic output and productivity. Edinburgh was the highest ranking UK city in terms of “employee aspirational” factors.

Douglas McPhail, head of Colliers International in Scotland, said: “Scoring highly for its economic output and the availability, talent and aspirations of its workforce, it’s not surprising that Edinburgh has outperformed most ­commercial property markets in recent years.

“It is significant that the ­positions in our Cities of Influence index this year mirror investment volumes over the course of 2017, suggesting that investor activity is becoming closer aligned to broader, long-term drivers of occupational growth.

“In Edinburgh in particular, with its exceptionally strong fundamentals, investment activity is expected to increase further going forward. ­However, when compared to the German ‘Big 7’, and the major Nordic capitals, most UK cities look significantly under-invested.”

The 2018 report ranked ­London as the most attractive city in Europe for the ­second year running, with Paris, Madrid, Moscow and ­Birmingham making up the rest of the top five.

This year’s extended version of the survey examined 50 major European economic hubs – building on the 20 ­cities covered in the inaugural report – providing a broad ­geographic coverage of European markets that are of global, regional and national importance.

Peter Leyburn, a director at Colliers, added: “Office occupier strength is the engine room for a city economy and as a driver of all other forms of real estate demand: be it retail (and thus logistics), hotels, leisure and residential.

“Occupational strength will also help drive rental growth and longer-term this is the most important driver of capital value – especially in an environment where yields do not look capable of compressing any further in the vast majority of markets.”