New figures reveal changing picture for commercial property in Scotland

Commercial Quay, Leith

The latest analysis of commercial property sales across Scotland by the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) reflects a shift in fortunes for the nation’s major cities over the three months from April to June 2018, the organisation has said.

For the second successive quarter, activity in Aberdeen exceeded that in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Total sales values in the Granite City totalled £123 million and while this figure is 26% less than the total from the previous quarter, it is 68% greater than Q2 2017.

By comparison, in Edinburgh and Glasgow sales activity was “subdued”, the report said. The total value sales in the Scottish capital in Q2 2018 was £122m. This is 19% down on the previous quarter and is also 46% down on Q2 2017. There were 110 commercial property sales in Edinburgh during this time.

In Glasgow, there were 129 commercial sales, totalling £104m. The value of commercial sales in Glasgow rose 8% compared to Q1 2018, but was down 42% on the same quarter in 2017.

Nationally, total sales values were down 29% on Q1 at £684m (13% down on the previous year), although the number of transactions rose from 1,006 in Q1 to 1,095 in Q2 (a rise of 9%). It is the first fall in total sales values since Q3 2017 and one of the main contributing factors is that there were a lower number of high value sales.

The figures were collated using data from Registers of Scotland.

David Melhuish

David Melhuish, director of Scottish Property Federation, said: “Our analysis of Q2 commercial sales figures shows an interesting picture emerging in the cities. Aberdeen continued to have marginally higher sales than both Edinburgh and Glasgow - especially noteworthy as Aberdeen had under half the number of sales than the other two. Looking at the bigger picture, across Scotland the recent data suggests that the commercial property sales market has been quieter than we have been used to in the past few years.

“That said, investment remains strong in Scottish real estate, with industry data experts CoStar reporting £584m invested into the sector in Q2. This brings the total investment for 2018 so far to £1.4bn, up on the same period in both 2017 and 2016.

“Overall, it was a mixed quarter for Scottish commercial property sales, with Aberdeen again showing signs of recovery, but subdued elsewhere.”

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