Scotland business

Commercial property markets in Scotland and London 'lag UK'

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The commercial property markets in Scotland and London are lagging behind the rest of the UK, a survey has found.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said occupier demand edged up in most of the UK in the third quarter.

However, Scotland saw the sharpest drop in demand across the country, with 24% more chartered surveyors reporting a fall.

Demand also fell in London for the second quarter in a row, with offices seeing the most significant dip.

Central London and Scotland were also the only two areas in which near-term rent expectations failed to move into positive territory, according to Rics' UK Commercial Market Survey.

Meanwhile, foreign investment inquiries were down in Scotland for a second quarter.

Rics said anecdotal evidence suggested that political uncertainty in the wake of the Brexit vote was still having an effect on both markets.

The improvement across the UK as a whole was mostly driven by the industrial sector, with 27% more respondents reporting a rise in demand for industrial property.

The demand for office space remained flat.

Rics chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said the latest results suggested that the UK commercial market had "settled down" since the EU referendum result.

He added: "Interestingly, the feedback we have received was noticeably more cautious in Scotland and parts of London but despite this, the Rics results do suggest that the drop in the pound is encouraging foreign investors to show interest in the market, particularly in the capital."

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