Choose life? Choose a Trainspotting postcode

As Trainspotting 2 arrives in UK cinemas, new research from the Bank of Scotland show that house prices in the film’s locations have risen over 200 per cent in the 20 years since the first film.

Two decades is a long time in film world, as actors age, directors move on to new projects and audiences look back on older titles with nostalgia. It is also a long time in the housing market, though, and new research from Bank of Scotland, while light-hearted, highlights just how much property values and property conditions can change.

Graham Blair, Mortgage Director at Bank of Scotland, says: “The trailer for Trainspotting 2 subtly highlights how much the world has changed since Trainspotting was released 20 years ago – John Menzies has disappeared from Edinburgh’s Princes Street, trams are now a prominent city centre feature and Renton is married.”

Leith, for example, is very different in 2017 to the one portrayed in Irvine Welsh’s 90s novel and film, with more young professionals moving in to the area. Some of its older pubs may have gone – the Volunteer Arms on Leith Walk (or “the Volley” as Begbie called it) was turned in to a smart gin and whisky bar in 2014 – but the return on a real estate purchase would more than cove the cost of a pint in a trendier establishment: had you invested in a property in Leith in 1996, it would have cost an average £59,902. Fast forward 20 years and that average prices have risen to £182,440.

The bookies on Muirhouse’s Pennywell Road, where Renton famously crawled out of the “Worst Toilet in Scotland”, has long since disappeared, but if you were to flush your money into the EH4 postcode back in those days, you would have spent an average of 8,628,100 pennies. Prices have increased 209 per cent since then: the average price now is £266,748.

“If you had decided to choose a Trainspotting postcode back in 1996, you would have seen a solid boost in value since then,” adds Blair.

Although the film is set in Edinburgh, much of Trainspotting was actually filmed in Glasgow, with a disused cigarette factory providing the setting for 60 per cent of the film’s locations. There, too, the rise in house prices in G46 since 1996 is almost on track with Leith, seeing an impressive 194 per cent – from £78,799 to £231,362.

“London of course has seen the biggest increase, as prices there have shot up in comparison to Scotland,” continues Blair.

The flat that Renton tries to let in London? That’s on the corner where Talgarth Road meets North End Road, just a stone’s throw from West Kensington tube station. Property prices in this W14 postcode have unsurprisingly gone sky high, seeing a massive 439 per cent increase from an average price tag of £125,271 to £674,840.

“Choose a mortgage, a starter home, DIY, clearing gutters – it could be a very good investment indeed,” says Blair.