Year of opportunity: Investors give vote of confidence to Glasgow amid city centre rejuvenation plans

“Glasgow’s allure for redevelopment and investment lies in its robust infrastructure and economic prowess.”

Glasgow has been given a vote of confidence by investors but “challenges persist” amid attempts to rejuvenate swathes of the city centre.

New research shows that an overwhelming 89 per cent of investors expect to see investment opportunities in the city centre market increase over the next 12 months. Property companies are the most bullish, with more than 90 per cent of them forecasting a “year of opportunity”, while investment funds are more cautious at 40 per cent, the study by Lismore Real Estate Advisors reveals.

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Despite the upbeat findings, just 21 per cent of investors expressed confidence in the public sector’s support, citing potential challenges such as rent control legislation hindering Glasgow City Council’s ambitions to revitalise its urban core and bring residents back to its heart. Positively, there is certainly appetite from the public sector and the Glasgow City Region deal is set to deliver in excess of £1 billion in public sector investment for major infrastructure and regeneration projects over the coming years.

Regeneration projects in Glasgow include Lancefield Quay.Regeneration projects in Glasgow include Lancefield Quay.
Regeneration projects in Glasgow include Lancefield Quay.

Stuart Orr, senior development manager at property giant Land Securities, who was interviewed by Lismore for the research, said: “Glasgow’s allure for redevelopment and investment lies in its robust infrastructure and economic prowess, boasting a substantial, well-educated population and thriving sectors like office and retail, with Buchanan Street having effectively zero vacancy and 20 per cent rental growth over the last 18 months.

“Challenges persist, with construction costs and financing hurdles hindering redevelopment projects in recent years. Despite setbacks, Glasgow’s resilience shines through, with strategies focusing on sustainable mixed-use and purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) developments. Glasgow’s potential remains recognised, even amidst day-to-day urban issues, including a better integrated public transport infrastructure that connects to the airport and improvements to the public realm.”

He added: “As regeneration efforts continue, areas like Tradeston, Lancefield Quay and Cowcaddens emerge as hot spots for revitalisation, driven by favourable land values and proximity to transport hubs, promising a vibrant future for the city's urban landscape.”

The report reveals that the “living” and industrial property sectors are favoured by investors, reflecting the appetite nationally for these areas on the back of positive supply/demand dynamics and strong forecast rental growth. The retail and office sectors also garner interest as the market adapts to shifts in shopping and working patterns.

Lismore director Simon Cusiter said: “Glasgow City Council’s aspirations to rejuvenate the heart of the city and draw residents back to its centre reflect a broader trend in the UK property market. Glasgow’s city centre population growth hinges on rent control policy, but uncertainty due to the Housing Bill delays investment and has stalled development for several years. Short-term impacts hinder growth, but the medium-term potential is significant. It is more crucial than ever that public and private sectors are properly aligned in order to stimulate the development and regeneration the city deserves.

“Glasgow’s resilience shines through, but the key to unlocking this potential is in supporting regeneration in the city centre collaboratively between public and private sector to provide housing and office space to allow the city to thrive.”



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