Aberdeen bounces back but Edinburgh falters as Scottish commercial property sales fall

7 May 2015

Policy area: Commercial, Finance

The value of commercial property sales in Scotland dropped by a third in the first quarter of 2015. 

Figures from the Registers of Scotland (RoS) show that the value of sales fell significantly to £615mn from its previous quarter total of £975mn. The volume of sales also dropped by a third, from 1,120 transactions in Q4 2014 to 854 in Q1 2015.

Edinburgh in particular experienced a drop in sales, where a previous sales total of £417mn fell to £112mn quarter on quarter. 

By contrast in Aberdeen much stronger quarterly sales were reported, with the total value leaping from £70mn in Q4 2014 to £120mn in Q1 2015.

The Scottish Property Federation (SPF), which analysed the figures, attributed the fall to a reflection of wider UK economic conditions, and the unpredictability caused by an impending General Election. It cited a potential lack of available commercial property stock as the reason for Edinburgh’s relative lack of activity compared to Aberdeen and Glasgow over the quarter, following several significant transactions in the city during 2013 and 2014.

David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation, commented: “This significant drop in sales coincides with a reported slowdown in wider UK economic activity, with the additional unpredictability of an uncertain UK General Election.”

“The drop off in activity in Edinburgh is perhaps the most marked story coming from this quarter and this may well signify a temporary lack of available product on the market having seen a significant number of transactions in the Scottish capital over the past two years.”