Scots commercial property sales ‘subdued’ at £684m

Edinburgh's central financial district

The value of commercial property sales across Scotland in the second quarter of 2018 fell to £684 million, down 29% on the first quarter of this year and down 13% on the same period of 2017.

That’s according to the latest analysis by the Scottish Property Federation (SPF).

The number of transactions, however, rose from 1,006 in Q1 of 2018 to 1,095 in Q2 of 2018.

It is the first fall in total sales values since the third quarter of 2017 and one of the main contributing factors was a lower number of high value sales.

The figures are collated using data from Registers of Scotland.

The latest research shows a shift in fortunes for Scotland’s major cities over the three months from April to June 2018.

For the second successive quarter, activity in Aberdeen exceeded that in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Total sales values in Aberdeen 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, sales activity in Edinburgh and Glasgow was “subdued.”

The total value sales in Edinburgh in Q2 2018 was £122 million.

This is 19% down on the previous quarter and is 46% down on Q2 2017.

There were 110 commercial property sales in Edinburgh during this time.

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

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 note-worthy 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 £584 million invested into the sector in Q2.

“This brings the total investment for 2018 so far to £1.4 billion, 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.”