Ryden has issued its 82nd Scottish Property Review, providing a detailed analysis of how office, industrial, retail and investment property has fared over the past six months in Scotland.
The latest figures show take-up of office space in Glasgow is above the long term average. Government bodies taking space at Atlantic Quay and Atlantic Square dominate but the private sector has also contributed. This burst of letting activity has substantially reduced the availability of large scale options.
In Edinburgh, office take-up has dropped by 17% compared to the same period last year, with only three deals over 10,000 sq ft concluding in the past six months, reflecting the constrained supply of Grade A space. Active pre-letting is however eroding the remaining speculative developments.
Mark Robertson, Partner at Ryden and Scottish Property Review editor, commented:
“High quality refurbishments in Glasgow will be required to meet demand as the next cycle of speculative new build begins to emerge. In Edinburgh all eyes will be on the purchaser of The Haymarket to deliver the next landmark office space in time for major lease events due in 2022 and 2023. Meanwhile the property market in Aberdeen is still facing uncertain times until the optimism created by a stabilising oil price filters through.”
Demand for industrial units remains robust in central Scotland underpinned by strong rental growth and diminishing availability. It is particularly strong below 10,000 sq ft while the market for larger units remains active but unpredictable. Average annual take-up figures in Greater Glasgow suggest only 2.4 years of remaining supply, much of that in less attractive premises.
“We are seeing landlords and developers preparing to undertake speculative industrial developments in Central Scotland where they can get rental figures to stack up against rising construction and infrastructure costs. Even in Aberdeen, where challenging conditions continue, speculative development is being considered.
There is also good news from the Scottish commercial property investment market where demand has strengthened over the past six months. This looks likely to continue, due to improved investor sentiment and the opportunity to acquire better value product relative to London and the principal English centres. The main constraint on investment in office and industrial property is the shortage of suitable opportunities.”