Real estate industry calls for cross-departmental Real Estate Forum in Scotland

9 Mar 2016

The Scottish Property Federation (SPF) is calling on the government to create the first ever Real Estate Forum, which will provide real estate industry with a clear and collective path of travel.

The SPF believes the forum can provide the impetus to restore jobs in the sector and economic impact back to pre-2008 levels - equivalent to an increase of 5,000 jobs and a 50% boost to the sector’s overall economic impact.*

The announcement was made today by chairman of the SPF, Chris Stewart, at the ninth annual conference in Edinburgh, Attracting Global Capital, during his speech outlining the new strategy for the industry going forward.

Real estate cuts across a number of different departmental portfolios, and it is suggested that the forum will bring each together to consider how to attract global investment and to build Scotland’s social, cultural and economic success.

The new forum will ensure better coordination between the Scottish government and the real estate sector to ensure a more joined-up approach when making policy decisions to achieve the country’s economic ambitions.

Chris Stewart, chairman of the Scottish Property Federation, said: “One of the key issues facing our industry is that property falls across a number of government portfolios, which can be a barrier for truly joined up policy. A new real estate forum that brings together the finance and economy briefs, alongside communities, planning, housing, heritage and the environment will be of huge benefit.  It will allow government and industry a direct means of communication; one that ensures that policy decisions are made with an informed view of the markets and in line with the country’s ambition.

“This forum will also allow the property sector to realise its true potential for providing additional jobs and adding more value to the economy.”

John Swinney, deputy first minister, said: “The Scottish Government is committed to supporting our real estate sector whether through stimulating economic growth and housing supply to reforming the planning system and the introduction of the Land and Building Transaction Tax. I welcome today’s proposal from the Scottish Property Federation for a Scottish Real Estate Forum and look forward to hearing more about the proposal in due course.”

David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation, added: “We believe that with the right impetus, and a strong collaborative approach, the sector has the potential to deliver sustainable growth, ultimately restoring job levels and economic input back to pre-2008 figures.”