Revival of Edinburgh’s George Street sees rents increase by a quarter

23rd August 2023 | Jack Oliver

Rents on Edinburgh’s upmarket George Street have risen by 25% over the last 12 months as the number of lettings has increased, according to Savills.

This follows the recent letting to Me&Em, which brings the street’s vacancy rate to 5%, down from 15% at the height of the Pandemic.

In 2020, there were around 11 vacant units on George Street, whereas now there are just four, all of which are under offer or receiving good interest, Savills said.

The higher level of demand, along with recent lettings, has also seen a significant recovery in rent levels, with Zone A rents for the prime area as high as £150 per sq ft, up from £120 per sq ft a year ago.

Over the past 18 months, George Street has welcomed 12 new occupiers, some of which have relocated from other parts of Edinburgh, whilst half are new to the city.

Savills said that the arrival of new occupiers has reaffirmed George Street’s reputation as one of Edinburgh’s prime retail destinations, and created an increased demand from food and beverage (F&B) operators, with cocktail bar The Alchemist opening in the former Laura Ashley unit.

Isla Monteith, director in the retail team at Savills Scotland, said: “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. 

“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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