Hubs create property ‘hot spots’

PROPERTY “hot spots” are likely to spring up around Edinburgh in the coming months thanks to the creation of a series of transport hubs.

Industry experts have made the prediction after the release of year-end data showing that activity in the office sector has reached pre-recession levels.

Key deals in 2013 included lettings to PwC, the accountancy giant, and the Green Investment Bank, both at the Atria One development in the city’s Morrison Street.

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West Edinburgh – an area that saw demand for business space hit hard in the wake of the credit crunch – is said to have seen a “resurgence of ­activity”, leading to office ­take-up levels last seen in 2001.

Figures from property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) show that Edinburgh’s occupier take-up – sales and lettings – amounted to 773,000 sq ft last year, up 8 per cent on 2012 and the highest total since 2007.

The firm said that inquiries from businesses looking to locate in the city or trade up from an existing site were focused on areas that were particularly close to public transport links, including the soon-to-launch tram. In a shot in the arm for the commercial property sector, JLL said 2014 should be characterised by a move from “a period of heavy cost control and consolidation” to a market “driven by headcount growth and a desire to operate from more efficient and modern premises”.

Cameron Stott, director, office agency, at JLL in Scotland, said: “With an ever-increasing premium placed by occupiers on transportation links, the key hot spots will be around hubs including Haymarket, Waverley and the re-emergence of Edinburgh Park.”