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Money holds sway in the capital’s dolls’ house economy

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AS you step off the train at Waverley Station and inch through the throng heading towards the Royal Mile, you get some idea of how the camel felt when faced with a needle. Two thoughts are uppermost for me at this time of year. How soon can I leave? And, where do all these people stay at night?

Since 1986, when I first was in Edinburgh for the Festival, I’ve never seen it this frantically busy. As headlines report complaints across the country about overpriced, insalubrious and surly hotels and B&Bs, in EH1 and environs such is the demand, a wheelie bin with a few mod cons could command a decent price. There are thousands of hotels and lodgings, but the explosion in visitor numbers is fuelled by Airbnb. This DIY business model is obviously adding to the hordes who can take rooms near the centre without worrying about a charmless reception or a miserly breakfast. Or, indeed, what the neighbours might be thinking.

This is not pure speculation. Figures from the property investment and management firm Grant Property indicate that in the past year, 75 per cent of buyers of flats and houses in the capital are from outwith Scotland, be it Ireland, Wales, England or far further afield. Recently, ahead of........

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