Savills: Edinburgh’s George Street flourishes as rents climb 25% in 12 months

Savills: Edinburgh's George Street flourishes as rents climb 25% in 12 months

Edinburgh’s George Street has shown remarkable resilience with a surge in rental prices and a rapid decline in vacancies.

According to Savills, prime Zone A unit rents on the street have escalated by an impressive 25% over the past year, hitting a high of £150 per sq ft, a considerable jump from the previous rate of £120 per sq ft.

This boost can be attributed to the significant decline in the street’s vacancy rate, which plummeted from 15% during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic to a mere 5%, following the latest deal with Me&Em.

From a peak of 11 available units in 2020, only four remain, all of which are either attracting considerable attention or are already under offer.

George Street’s rejuvenation is further evident with the introduction of 12 new businesses in the last 18 months. Although some are relocations, half of these establishments are fresh brands to the Edinburgh market. The names include Black Sheep Coffee, Joseph Cheaney, Jimmy Fairly, Me&Em, Monsoon, and amongst others.

A shift in the food and beverage (F&B) sector has also been observed. The recent opening of The Alchemist cocktail bar, which replaced the previous Laura Ashley space, marks the increased demand for F&B units on the street.

Isla Monteith, director in the retail team at Savills Scotland, explained: “With a number of other units further west on the street now under offer to F&B operators, this signals a return of national F&B brands to the city centre.

“Until recently, the F&B market in Edinburgh has been dominated by local independents, who have focused on edge of prime and affluent suburban areas of the city.

“Looking ahead, the planned pedestrianisation of the street is also encouraging this blend of F&B and retail further, so we will no doubt see this trend continue.”

She continued: “Elsewhere in the city we are also now seeing the regeneration of Princes Street. Whilst this is a slow process, the large scale redevelopment of many of the more sizeable blocks is now underway.

“The St James Quarter is also performing very well and this is helping to encourage brands to consider Edinburgh, whether in St James itself, or locations such as George Street.”

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