Glasgow property sector to build on Games legacy

Eric Forgie, chairman of GVA James Barr, believes Glasgow is on a roll following last year's Commonwealth Games. Picture: John Devlin
Eric Forgie, chairman of GVA James Barr, believes Glasgow is on a roll following last year's Commonwealth Games. Picture: John Devlin
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ABOVE average economic growth and the legacy of the Commonwealth Games should ensure the Scottish property sector continues to recover in 2015, according to research published by GVA and Santander.

Their Scotland’s Prospectus 2015, launched yesterday, identifies Glasgow in particular as a growth hotspot, with Edinburgh and Aberdeen also offering good opportunities.

Eric Forgie, chairman of GVA James Barr, believes Glasgow is on a roll following last year’s Commonwealth Games, and after it became the first non-English city to join an initiative for regional economic centres. The “City Deal” signed last year to fund major infrastructure projects and drive innovation, will also help.

He said: “As the only Scottish city to join the Core Cities Initiative, Glasgow’s city deal extending to £1.13 billion will significantly help major projects, including the much-needed Glasgow Airport Rail Link.

“The extension of Buchanan Galleries in the city centre will further boost Glasgow’s appeal as a prominent UK retail
centre.

“This will focus the prime pitch in and around the ­shopping ­centre and will alter the retail profile of pitches such as Sauchiehall Street.”

He noted that, with pre-lets and strong interest in available space in the latest commercial property built in Glasgow, cranes will soon be starting to appear elsewhere in the “core business area”.

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Forgie also expects to see further activity in the renewables sector as Glasgow evolves as a centre of excellence.

In Edinburgh, GVA foresees rising demand across all sectors, with a focus on the hotel, residential, office and retail sectors.

On the investment side, Santander’s team of property specialists supported a significant number of important transactions in 2014. Nick Peet, the bank’s divisional head of real estate finance for Scotland, said: “Looking at the year ahead, we see further opportunities for growth and are committed to continue supporting the ambitions of our real-estate clients.”