Scotland business

Sharp fall in Scottish commercial property sales

Edinburgh skyline Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Edinburgh bucked the national trend, with commercial property values rising on the previous year

Commercial property sales fell sharply in Scotland in the first quarter of this year, according to a new report.

Analysis by the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) found that the total value of sales in Scotland fell by 21% on the same period last year.

SPF said the drop was largely driven by fewer high-value transactions.

It added that "low growth and lack of certainty in the economy" was weighing down on activity in the commercial property sector.

Overall sales in Scotland in the first quarter totalled £763m, a year-on-year fall of £203m.

Edinburgh bucked the national trend, recording higher values than in the same quarter in 2018. The capital's total of £264m in sales accounted for 35% of the Scottish market.

Aberdeen saw commercial property sales recover against the previous quarter, with an increase from £14m to £41m. However, year-on-year, the total value of Aberdeen's sales was down by £125m.

'Subdued start to year'

Glasgow experienced a decrease in total sales by £26m (15%) on the previous quarter - but was £49m up on the same quarter last year, with sales totalling £171m.

SPF director David Melhuish said the data suggested a "subdued start" to 2019.

He added: "The investment data also highlights the rise in investor appetite for alternative property asset classes, such as hotels and build-to-rent.

"For investors, Edinburgh remains a hotspot, while more broadly, low growth and lack of certainty in the economy is weighing down on activity."