Office take-up on rise in Scotland’s big cities

SCOTLAND’S big cities are drawing increasing levels of investment into commercial property in a sign of renewed optimism in the sector.

Property consultant CBRE says the Scottish market in general is faring well in comparison with all regions outside of London, though an emerging problem is a shortage of good-quality investment opportunities.

Office take-up in Aberdeen for the first quarter rose 21 per cent on the final quarter of 2012, while in Edinburgh it was up 14 per cent and in Glasgow 30 per cent.

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Aberdeen is still commanding the highest office rentals outside London and the south-east. It had a record annual take-up for 2012 of 830,404sq ft, 66 per cent above the ten-year average.

Douglas Smith, chairman of CBRE Scotland, said more overseas investors were 
looking at regional markets, which now have almost 50 per cent of the total investment against 30 per cent five years ago.

Scotland was also reducing its reliance on London sources, with more investment coming from Scottish investors, said Smith.

CBRE forecasts that the UK commercial property market as a whole will 
begin to see stronger returns from 2014 once there is greater traction in the economic recovery.

“The picture for Scotland in Q1 of 2013 is a slightly more positive one as Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh all increase their take-up from Q4 2012,” said Smith.