Trying to decide on the right location for your new home can be tricky, but when it’s your first home, it can feel like an added pressure to get it right.

Thankfully, ESPC is here to help – with over 50 years of helping buyers in Edinburgh, our unrivalled local knowledge can help you on your way to buyer bliss. So whether your priority is a good commute, access to the best local bars and restaurants, or making the most sensible long-term investment, we can guide you.

First-time buyers will pay LBTT (Land and Buildings Transaction Tax) on properties priced over £175,000 – so with that in mind, we’re sharing the best areas in the Capital where you can find one-bedroom starter homes for under the LBTT threshold.

Which one will be your favourite?

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Located to the west of the city, Gorgie has great bus links, and is in walking distance to Haymarket and the West End. Gorgie is home to Heart of Midlothian FC, and it’s close to Murrayfield Stadium, so there’s a lively atmosphere and great nightlife. Plus, there’s plenty of shops and supermarkets, and even a local city farm!

Over the past six months, one-bedroom flats in Gorgie had an average selling price of £141,752, well under the LBTT threshold, making this a great area for first-time buyers in Edinburgh. These properties .

Properties in Gorgie went under offer in a median time of 25 days.

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Newhaven harbour Edinburgh


Newhaven presents the perfect opportunity for first-time buyers in Edinburgh to live by the water. North of the city centre and enjoying stunning views across the Forth to Fife, Newhaven is an up-and-coming area of Edinburgh to buy your first home. Newhaven has access to excellent amenities, including popular local restaurants, an Asda supermarket, and great bus links. Newhaven’s transport links are set to improve too, with the Edinburgh Trams extension opening in 2023, meaning that any property you buy here now could be a good investment for the future.

One-bedroom flats in Newhaven sell on average for £168,630, while two-beds have an average selling price of £262,407. Properties in Newhaven go under offer in a median time of 21 days.

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Just to the east of the city, cosmopolitan Abbeyhill has a reputation for its artisan community and friendly neighbourhood feel. It’s close to Holyrood Park for long walks, but it’s also walking distance from the heart of the city, with excellent bus links. Abbeyhill residents can enjoy an abundance of local businesses on their doorstep, including those on nearby Easter Road, while the handy retail park at Meadowbank offers larger stores and supermarkets.

Over the past six months, one-bedroom flats in Abbeyhill sold for £172,361 on average, taking 26 days to do so.

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The Shore Leith


Leith is one of the best areas in Edinburgh for first-time buyers, with a high volume of properties on the market. Leith Walk is packed with shops and bars, while The Shore boasts glamorous restaurants, independent businesses and local markets galore. The area is very popular, and once the Edinburgh Trams extension is complete in 2023, properties here may become even more sought-after, making it a good investment.

One-bedroom flats in Leith had an average selling price of £165,944 between September 2021-February 2022, and sold in a median time of 19 days.

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Portobello beachPortobello

Dreaming of buying your first property by the sea? You could snap up your first home in picturesque Portobello, a stone’s throw from the beach. Portobello is a very popular option, with a friendly community feel and lots going on, a plethora of independent businesses and local amenities, and great transport links into the city centre.

One-bedroom flats in Portobello sold for an average of £153,481 over the past six months, leaving you plenty of room in the budget for décor – and ice-cream on the beach! Portobello one-beds went under offer in a median time of 19 days during this period.

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First time buyer advice

Buying your first home can be hugely exciting but also a bit daunting. As the home of property, ESPC is here to help. Here’s our suggestions to make the process of buying your first home easier.

Find out more about first-time buyer mortgages

Our team of independent mortgage experts at ESPC Mortgages can help you find the most suitable mortgage deal for your circumstances.

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