Edinburgh is approximately 33% cheaper to locate a business to than London, according to a new report published by worldwide property consultancy Knight Frank. The agency’s Global Cities 2018 survey examined the world’s 40 ‘leading cities’, based on the price of workspace and average salaries. According to the report, the total cost of basing 100 staff in Edinburgh per year sits at £2.6 million, compared to £3.9 million in London – a total difference of £1.31 million, or 33%.
Edinburgh edged ahead of many of its rivals cost-wise, ranking cheaper per annum to locate to than Dublin (approx. £3.08 million), Stockholm (approx. £3.04 million), Frankfurt (approx. £2.9 million) and Amsterdam (approx. £2.67 million).
Topping the chart was Zurich, where high salary costs in the banking and asset management sectors mean that companies wishing to staff 100 people in the city can expect to pay well over £6 million per year. Zurich, surprisingly, placed ahead of high tech hub San Francisco, which nevertheless still placed highly at approximately £6.04 million per annum.
Alasdair Steele, Head of Scotland Commercial at Knight Frank, commented that the findings indicated another strong positive for the city’s business prospects. Mr. Steele said: “Edinburgh continues to emerge as a truly global city – it’s becoming an increasingly popular destination for international businesses as well as a magnet for overseas investment capital.
“From a cost perspective, Scotland’s capital offers clear advantages over many of Europe’s major business hubs. Combined with its quality of life benefits, skilled workforce, and buoyant tech scene, there’s a compelling case for Edinburgh as the city grows from strength to strength.”
Lee Elliott, Head of Commercial Research at Knight Frank, said: “Access to high-skilled talent is a well-established determinant of corporate real estate and location decision making.
“But in a low-growth economic environment where margin protection and cost control is paramount, the cost of both employing and accommodating this talent is becoming important too.
“Edinburgh’s costs relative to other Global Cities are compelling. This provides a clear incentive for global companies to actively consider Edinburgh, particularly those in the tech and financial services sector which need to attract and retain the best people, in state-of-the-art workspace.
“Although rival European cities do offer even lower employment and property costs, many global companies will see this as a false economy if they are unable to access the tech and creative talent they require, which Edinburgh has in great abundance.”