With its heady mix of stunning properties, high average wages and great quality-of-life indicators, Edinburgh regularly tops polls of the most desirable place to live in the UK.

And while its commercial hubs, excellent transport links and good schools all make it a magnet for families and over-50s, it has also achieved a reputation as one of the most fashionable and lively cities for under 35s.

Several recent studies have shown that the Capital is one of the most popular choices for young people looking to kickstart their adult lives either as students or young professionals.

Recent publicity may have focused on the explosive impact that the lifting of Covid restrictions on the housing market had on the sale of high-end properties, particularly those with gardens.

But a little-flagged trend has been the enormous recent growth in demand for starter homes, including studios and single bedroom flats in the city.

In recent weeks we’ve seen a huge spike in viewings and offers for such properties and it’s not hard to see why.

As well as offering a range of great starter homes in fabulous locations, buying in Edinburgh has also provided buyers with an appreciating asset and high higher sell-on prices than most other locations in the UK.

Last year one-bedroom flats in Abbeyhill and Meadowbank saw the biggest increase in average selling price, rising by 16.6% to £171,223, according to one survey.

The same properties achieved average selling prices of 109.4% of Home Report valuations, the highest of any property type in the Capital.

Among the factors driving the market is the £150million First Home Fund launched by the Scottish Government last year.

It provides eligible buyers with a loan of up to £25,000 toward the cost of their first property, up to a cap of 49% of the property valuation or purchase price, whichever is lower.

The scheme is open to all first-time buyers in Scotland taking out a capital repayment mortgage.

Because of the high number of recent applications, the fund closes to new applications at 6pm on Friday (October 2) and potential buyers wishing to use the scheme for a house purchase to be completed in this financial year must apply by that deadline. 

However, the Scottish Government has confirmed it will reopen applications for the scheme in the new year for home purchases due to be completed in the 2021/2022 financial year.

If you're interested in applying for the First Home Fund, the Scottish Government has recommended that you seek independent mortgage advice. In addition it should be noted that it makes the work of the solicitor considerably harder as well as attracting additional outlays during the transaction, so it is a more expensive process for the initial purchase. It is also a process that has strict timescales and the time it takes from the initial offer until completion may be longer than in an average purchase.

To find out more about buying or selling first-time properties call Purdie & Co on 0131 346 7240 or visit www.purdiesolicitors.co.uk