Property investment unaffected by general election

Property industry not dampened by the upcoming election. Picture: Jane Barlow
Property industry not dampened by the upcoming election. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Uncertainty surrounding the outcome of next week’s general election has failed to dampen investment activity in the commercial property sector during the first quarter.

Across Scotland, total investment topped £575 million in the opening three months of 2015, an increase of 26 per cent compared with the first quarter a year earlier, according to property firm Lambert Smith Hampton’s (LSH) UK investment transactions report.

UK institutions dominated much of the activity, investing some £245.4m, while the retail and leisure sector accounted for just under half of the total volume invested north of the ­Border.

In all 35 deals were completed in the first quarter – eight more than the same period last year – while the average deal size also increased, from £16.8m in Q1 2014 to just over £16.4m in the latest period.

Bill Binnie, investment consultant in capital markets with LSH in Glasgow, said: “Despite the uncertainty of the outcome of the general election it is a strong set of figures in Q1 for Scotland.”

Some of the key deals in the first quarter included M&G Real Estate’s £72.4m purchase of 120 Bothwell Street, Glasgow from CS Euroreal, the £70m purchase of Clyde Shopping Centre in Clydebank by Edinburgh House Estates from Helical Bar and the purchase of Edinburgh’s Radisson Blu Hotel by Deka Immobilien from WG Mitchell in a deal worth £63.5m.

Across the UK as a whole, total investment climbed to £19.1bn in the opening three months, 59 per cent higher than the same time last year and a new record for a first quarter.

All of the main traditional asset classes – industrial, offices and retail – saw double-digit increases in investment compared to the same period last year.