Build to rent development takes shape in Edinburgh city centre

The centre of Edinburgh will soon be home to a very ambitious and substantial property development which will see 525 new homes for rent. The joint venture between developer Moda Living and Apache Capital will also see the venture acquire 46 existing private rented homes with the deal. This comes at a time when the Scottish property market is showing mixed signals ahead of what could be the next independence referendum. So, what can we expect from this build to rent development in the heart of Edinburgh?

Revitalising Edinburgh

Edinburgh has attracted significant investment over the years and while property firm Grosvenor Britain and Ireland has decided to sell off its residential element in its Fountainbridge development this is a positive move going forward. This is one of the largest housing deals in Scotland since the financial crisis of 2008 which put the worldwide economy in a nosedive.

Building a legacy

The joint venture agreement will see an array of new properties designed, built and managed under the Moda brand. When you consider the residential element is part of a wider regeneration of Fountainbridge everything then begins to fall into place. Originally designed by architects CDA the new homes will be part of a wider 25,000 ft.² development taking in shops, bars and restaurants. There is also a 15,000 ft.² area which takes in a gym, communal lounges, barbecue area and roof terrace for residents to use.

Phase 1 of the new development should be finished by the end of 2019 with the project as a whole set to be completed by the end of 2022. The existing site currently takes in 250 completed homes with a mixture of homes for sale, housing for the frail and elderly, serviced apartments and student accommodation. This really is a major development within the centre of Edinburgh at a time when the economic climate is perhaps not as helpful for investors as it could be.

Scottish government housing policy

While the Scottish government has been criticised in many quarters for its perceived obsession with independence there is no doubt a new and exciting housing policy is starting to take shape. The joint venture company buying into the Fountainbridge development is said to have around £1.1 billion worth of additional rental developments in the pipeline. If the Scottish government is able to arrange similar deals with other developers across the board then this certainly bodes well for the Scottish property market in the longer term.

Is Scotland closing the gap with the rest of the UK?

At this moment in time it is difficult to know what will happen in the UK and in this particular instance Scotland in light of the forthcoming exit from the European Union. Scotland has most certainly fallen behind the rest of the UK in economic terms and the property market has also suffered of late. This significant development in Edinburgh city centre would seem to indicate a renewed appetite for investment across the Scottish real estate market. We can only hope that this continues and there could indeed be some significant benefits if Scotland was to go forward with independence in the longer term.?

Might Edinburgh benefit from London’s financial demise? Will the European Union welcome Scotland into the fold with open arms?

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