Edinburgh boasts six of UK's wealthiest suburbs

SIX of Edinburgh's most prestigious neighbourhoods are among the richest 500 postal areas in Britain, new research has shown.

Postal areas that include Ravelston, Murrayfield, Fairmilehead, Colinton, Braepark, Cramond, The Braids and Belford were ranked higher than some of the south England's richest suburbs.

The 2006 Wealth of the Nation report by demographic analysts CACI shows that each of Edinburgh's top six areas enjoy average household incomes in excess of 43,000. The EH12 6 postal area, which includes parts of Coates, Murrayfield and south Ravelston, was the 88th richest in the UK, with average household income of 49,192.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

EH10 7, including most of Fairmilehead, had an average income of 47,574, placing it at ranking 146 in the UK, while EH13 0, which includes Colinton, Campbell Park and Redford, was 272nd at 45,587.

Property experts and business leaders say that privacy, schools, location, culture and business opportunities are among the main factors drawing high-earners to the city and its richest suburbs.

Graham Bell, spokesman for the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: "For people of higher or medium income who want to live in cities, you couldn't ask for a better place to be than Edinburgh.

"If you're reasonably well-heeled it makes sense to live somewhere with a good quality of life that gives you what you need. "Edinburgh is a beautiful city with some of the finest Georgian architecture in Europe.

"It has more eating houses per head of population than any other city in Britain and it has a fantastic cultural scene across the spectrum.

"Wealth has a trickle-down effect. Whilst we might all, in the Gilbert and Sullivan opera tradition, like everyone to be equal, the world is just not like that.

"But if the city attracts wealthy people to Edinburgh then that feeds out to the community at large and creates incomes and jobs for people further down the scale."

He said that Edinburgh is different to some cities, such as Manchester, where the main pockets of wealth are outside the city, because there are places within the city that attract business executives and professionals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The other three Edinburgh postal areas to make it into the top 500 within the UK were EH4 6, including Braepark and Cramond; EH10 6, mainly made up of The Braids; and EH4 3, incorporating Belford Road, which all had average household incomes in excess of 43,000.

Blair Stewart, who heads the Edinburgh residential team at estate agent Strutt and Parker, believes that a number of key factors help make areas prestigious. He said: "Privacy and ease of access to the top schools are the key to people with high incomes coming to Edinburgh. Many houses have big open spaces in Murrayfield and The Braids and that is a big factor in attracting people.

"Places like Barnton, Ravelston and The Braids have very little crime too - that also encourages people to the area. Go down to the edge of Trinity and Portobello and you see fantastic big properties that are comparable to the richest areas but they are closer to the less salubrious areas so that keeps some people away.

"You go to areas like Barnton and you see whole swathes of houses worth in excess of 1 million, with their occupants earning very high incomes.

"Wealth tends to follow wealth as well, and people move to places like Easter Belmont Road because they want to be with people at a similar level so they can look out for each other and have a richer community feel."

But despite the high figures for a number of areas in the city, EH11 3, including parts of Stenhouse and Broomhouse, came bottom of the crop in the city and was the 333rd poorest area in the UK, with average household income of 22,600.

Eric Milligan, the councillor for Stenhouse, believes the contrasting figures show Edinburgh is a "Jekyll and Hyde city" starkly split between the rich and poor.