City & Country sets new record at the WhatHouse? Awards 2023
Buying apartments to let is a family business, according to Leila Yan. The 32-year-old and her family own several properties across the UK, including in London and Manchester. Last year Leila, who is originally from China, was looking to invest further and purchased a one-bedroom apartment at The Playfair at Donaldson’s, City & Country’s prestigious development in Edinburgh.
Explaining the decision to buy her new property, Leila says: “I am based in Manchester and my family often come to the UK from China to visit me. We own several properties here in the UK and have a good knowledge of what rents well, so we were keen to ensure our new investment was in a good location and ticked a lot of boxes for tenants – as well as for us if we decided to stay or live there in the future.
“There wasn’t much choice in our price range in London, and we were really looking for something with the ‘wow factor’, so we began to consider other cities to diversify our portfolio. We were familiar with Edinburgh’s appeal, and as the second largest financial centre in the UK and the second most visited tourist destination after London, it made a lot of business sense.”
Situated just moments from Haymarket station, The Playfair is set amidst 16 acres of elegant, private grounds. Having been extensively restored, the former school is now firmly established as one of Edinburgh’s most prestigious addresses, recently winning Apartment Development of the Year for the second time at the 2020 Scottish Home Awards. Alongside the converted apartments, The Playfair offers residents access to beautifully restored communal spaces. All have been finished with brass light fittings, luxurious bespoke carpets and painted in stylish hues of dark grey, creating an elegant and homely sense of place emulating the feel of a boutique hotel.
Talking about what drew her to The Playfair, Leila says: “We love historic, converted properties, so coming across City & Country in Edinburgh felt like a perfect fit. I was lucky enough to visit the development last autumn when the Covid restrictions were lessened and as soon as I saw the properties, I fell in love with it: it’s such a unique offering.”
She continues: “The apartments are exclusive and very luxurious; they are unlike any other properties in Edinburgh’s city centre. Our potential tenants often have their own homes in the countryside and come to the city for work during the week, and The Playfair offers a great mix of the two, with its acres of parkland in a prime, central location.
“The one-bedroom apartment we purchased was great value with so much internal space – it has two large, original windows that fill the open plan living area. While the initial plan is to let the property, it’s nice to know that I have a base if I were ever to move to Scotland – I love the apartment, so I would be very happy here! It’s also a great legacy to pass on to my children – owning a piece of Scottish history.”