Commercial property investment falls 38% to £1.5bn

Commercial property investment volumes across Scotland slowed in 2023 “as high interest rates and falling capital values created a lack of viability for debt buyers” according to the latest Colliers Scotland Snapshot.

The Colliers report said the 2023 investment volumes in Scotland of £1.5 billion were down by 38% on 2022 levels.

Quarterly investment volumes slowed from a revised £360 million in Q3 to £330 million in Q4, which was around 33% below the five-year quarterly average of £490 million.

Retail accounted for a 34% share of all investment activity in 2023, followed by offices at 27%, and industrial at 15%.

Cross border capital accounted for 33% of all activity by value in 2023, well below the 2022 share of 45% and the lowest level since 2018.

The largest Q4 transaction was the £46 million sale of The Centre — 718,600 sq ft of retail space — in Livingston to M Core.

In retail, total 2023 investment volumes stood at £500 million. This was down slightly on 2022 but higher than the 2019-2021 totals.

In offices, total 2023 investment volumes reached £400 million. This was 39% lower than the corresponding 2022 figure and the lowest annual total since 2012.

The largest Q4 deal in offices was the £38 million sale of Edinburgh’s Argyle House.

In industrial, the £220 million transacted in 2023 was 40% below the corresponding 2022 figure.

In hotels in 2023, £200 million was transacted in the sector. This was up by 40% on 2022 and 12% above the five-year average.