Scotland’s commercial property market set for upturn after independence no vote

There was a collective sigh of relief within the commercial property market last week as Scotland voted no to independence.

In the uncertainty leading up to the vote, many commercial property deals involving those north and south of the border had been on hold, with buyers eagerly awaiting the outcome of the historical referendum.

It is thought that many deals even contained exit clauses, which catered for the possibility of a yes vote, while many businesses announced plans to move out of Scotland if independence won the day.

With Scotland’s future as part of the United Kingdom now secure, there is expected to be a an influx of activity as the Scottish market looks to catch up with the accelerating growth of commercial property in English cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester.

The lead director of JLL in Scotland, Alasdair Humphery said: “The result will provide a welcome boost to Scotland’s property market”, while David Davidson, the managing director at Cushman & Wakefield Scotland added: “For the last three months it feels like we have been driving with the handbrake on.”

However, it is thought that some buyers may want to hold off a little longer before committing to deals in Scotland, following the post-referendum announcements to give more power to Scotland. With the exact details surrounding devolution to Scotland yet to be revealed, it is unclear how any changes might influence the property market.

Ultimately, despite this uncertainty, activity in the market is expected to increase; something that Alasdair Humphery of JLL agrees with: “Following the result, I am optimistic that we’ll see more confidence returning to the market and an increase in activity from international occupiers, some of whom had previously been reluctant to progress expansion plans.”

With the ambiguity surrounding independence over and a flurry of activity expected over the coming months, the no vote certainly appears to be better for the commercial property market.

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