Seasonal drop off reduces value of Scotland’s commercial property sales by more than 40%

25 May 2016

Policy area: Commercial

The value of Scotland’s commercial property sales in the first quarter of 2016 fell by over 40% according to new figures from the Registers of Scotland.

The figures, analysed by the Scottish Property Federation, show that the value of commercial property sales in Q1 2016 was £619m, compared to £1.074bn in Q4 2015. This reflects the seasonal drop in activity generally experienced in the first quarter of the year. However, compared with the same quarter in the previous year, Q1 2016 sales figures display a fractional increase, providing a strong base for the year going forward.

Edinburgh saw the biggest change in value of sales from £274m in Q4 2015 to £132m in Q1 2016, a 52% drop. However, compared with the same quarter in 2015 this was actually an 18% increase year on year. It is expected that there will be an improvement in the Registers of Scotland sales figure for Edinburgh next quarter due to larger deals which completed in Q1 but may not have changed title until after 31 March.

The Aberdeen market continues to readjust in light of ongoing energy industry problems since autumn 2014. The Granite City returned just £24m in total sales for the quarter, meaning it was outperformed by Renfrewshire with £25m of total sales, South Lanarkshire with £29m and Fife with £34m. Dundee fell behind all of these with total sales of just £8.5m.

Across Scotland there was a drop in the number of high value £5m+ transactions from a total of 36 in Q4 2015 to 24 in Q1 2016.

David Melhuish, Director of the Scottish Property Federation, said:

“Although the commercial property markets have seen a large fall in sales since the previous quarter, the turn of the year is usually slow and an annual comparison indicates a steady performance nationally.

“There is clearly ongoing adjustment in the Aberdeen commercial property market in response to the challenges facing the energy industry.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

All figures quoted are extrapolated by SPF from Registers of Scotland data.