John Swinney to address Scottish Property Federation Annual Conference

22 Feb 2016

Policy area: Finance

Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP will address Scotland’s commercial real estate industry next month, as new figures show Scotland is only the 18th most attractive country to invest*, highlighting the challenges the country now faces if it is to drive economic growth.

Swinney is to be the keynote speaker at the ninth annual Scottish Property Federation (SPF) Conference on March 9, 2016, Attracting Global Capital, where he will be joined by industry and finance leaders from the US, Europe and the UK.

Last year, investment in Scottish commercial property fell by 11%, compared to 2014, with overseas investors dominating activity.** According to one report, Edinburgh and Glasgow have also fallen behind Manchester and Birmingham as good places to invest.***

The SPF conference will explore how Scotland should position itself to compete for the global capital which will drive essential development in house-building, office accommodation and the regeneration of the built environment.

Speakers include Tim Morris of Proprium Capital Partners LLC, James Muir of Patrizia UK, Ally Scott from Barclays, Gareth Lewis of PwC and Ian Marcus from Eastdil Secured.

The event, just a few weeks ahead of the Scottish elections, will also include a political hustings with Jackie Baillie (Lab), Gavin Brown (Cons), Kenny Gibson (SNP) and Willie Rennie (LibDem) and led by the BBC’s political editor in Scotland, Brian Taylor.

Chris Stewart, chairman of the SPF, said: “We need to start focusing attracting global capital. Local financing for new development is increasingly limited and so international capital is essential to Scotland’s commercial real estate sector and therefore the nation’s economic growth.

“As a sector we build homes for rent and purchase, which are desperately needed; we create new office space, which can attract expanding businesses and we can drive the regeneration of our towns and cities, but to do this we increasingly rely on investors, pension funds and private equity companies which have a global outlook and take an unemotional and risk averse view of their investments. This is the world we now compete within.”

“The conference is the first time the SPF has brought together such an international line up of speakers and guests and it will give us the ideal opportunity to air the issues as well as discuss ways in which Scotland should adapt to maintain the interest of global capital.”

David Melhuish, director of the SPF, added: “The real estate industry is a vital contributor to both Scotland’s economic and social infrastructure, and attracting global capital plays a key part in bringing about the regeneration of our towns and cities. If Scotland is to attract inward investment, it needs to maintain competitive regulatory and tax systems, and it is essential that Government recognises this. Areas of the industry such as the build to rent and industrial sectors have the potential to deliver significant amount of new homes jobs, and securing international capital will be crucial to ensuring such growth.”

The Scottish commercial real estate sector contributes £6bn to GVA and employs over 60,000 people.


Notes to Editors

* PWC, Emerging Trends in Real Estate, Europe 2016             

** Lambert Smith Hampton, UK Investment Transactions, Record Year For Investment Volume

*** CBRE, Core Cities, Core Strengths

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