Independence issue may ‘create property opportunities’
UNCERTAINTY generated by the debate over Scottish independence could create investment opportunities within the commercial property sector, according to a senior figure in the industry.
Alasdair Ramsay, head of property firm Drivers Jonas Deloitte’s Scottish operations, believes that some institutional investors may hold off on deals in the run-up to the proposed referendum vote in 2014. Such moves would create chances for other players to make the most of depressed prices by investing in building projects, or to move clients between office blocks.
Ramsay admitted that the debate over separation from the UK was not yet having any effect on the property market but predicted that institutional investors would soon start taking an interest in discussions north of the Border.
“When fund managers start hearing more about Scottish independence then they will sit up and start taking notice,” Ramsay told Scotland on Sunday.
His comments come just a month after a report by accountancy firm Ernst & Young revealed that the independence debate had not affected companies’ decisions on foreign direct investment (FDI) into Scotland during 2011.
But the firm predicted that uncertainty in the lead-up to the separation referendum would begin to have an effect on this year’s FDI figures.
A host of business leaders – from Weir Group chief executive Keith Cochrane to Wood Group chairman Sir Ian Wood – have called in recent months for clarity over what independence would actually mean for Scottish companies.
Miller Homes chief executive Keith Miller has called for the independence issue to be settled “sooner rather than later” to reduce uncertainty.
Other companies have already started taking the UK’s possible dissolution into account when they take decisions on business activities.
In February, Perth-based utilities giant SSE warned the independence referendum will increase the risk it attaches to investment projects.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West