Edinburgh leads the way as Scotland’s commercial property market continues recovery

13 Feb 2015

Policy area: Commercial, Finance

Following the record breaking sale of Port Hamilton, the Scottish Widows Investment Partnership HQ, for over £105m, Edinburgh saw the value of its commercial property sales almost double at the end of 2014.

The capital city saw commercial property sales increase in value to £417m, up from £224m in the previous quarter, according to data from the Registers of Scotland (RoS). This represented just less than 43% of the value of all sales in Scotland. 

The Scottish Property Federation (SPF) has attributed this strong return to form to a post-Referendum return to confidence from investors. Aside from the sale of Port Hamilton, the last quarter of 2014 also saw the Radisson Blu Hotel on the Royal Mile sell for over £59m to a German investor, the largest hotel transaction the city has seen since 2007. 

The total value of Scottish commercial property sales increased to £975m from its third quarter total of £962m and the volume of transactions grew from 985 to 1,120 in the same period, suggesting a healthy improvement in economic activity in the commercial property market. 

Glasgow saw a decline from £242m (Q3) to £132m (Q4), although this remained a marked improvement on Q2 when just £58m of sales was reported, and with significant office and other development activity underway this remains a positive market.

Aberdeen saw a significant reduction of sales, which fell from £176m in Q3 to £70m in Q4. However, the SPF pointed out that its relative slowdown in commercial property sales should be seen in the context of very strong quarterly performances for much of the previous two years.

David Melhuish, Director at the Scottish Property Federation, commented: “The continued growth in sales that we are seeing is extremely positive, and it is very encouraging to see Edinburgh enjoy such a strong quarter. Although Glasgow saw a decline in sales, it has a strong development pipeline, and we would expect to see it to have a strong start to 2015.  After a significant dip in sales before the Referendum, we can definitely consider this pent-up confidence returning to the market. ”  


  1. All figures quoted are extrapolated by SPF from the Registers of Scotland and subject to crown copyright.
  2. Figures for individual local authorities are available for SPF members for both the value of commercial property sales in the authority area and the volume of sales.