Commercial property sales in Scotland hit £3,37bn in 2019

Commercial property sales in Scotland hit £3,37bn in 2019

The total value of commercial property sales in Scotland grew in 2019 for the third consecutive year. According to Scottish Property Federation (SPF) analysis of 2019, Scottish commercial property sales hit £3.37 billion in 2019, increased by £136m (4%) compared to the total for 2018.

After 2014 and 2015, 2019 had the third highest total value of commercial property sales in the decade. The lowest annual total was in 2012, when there were just £1.5bn in sales.

The SPF’s analysis also shows that the number of commercial property transactions in Scotland (at all values) in 2019 was the highest in the decade, standing at 4,667.

The number of commercial property sales in Scotland has increased every year since 2012. Between 2018 and 2019 there was an increase of 139 sales (3%). Within 2019, Q3 (July to September) saw the greatest combined value of commercial property sales in Scotland at £1.2 billion.

This figure was particularly high because of several high value transactions in Edinburgh. At £614m, Q2 had the lowest combined value of sales in 2019 and was the lowest quarterly total since 2014.

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Edinburgh continued to dominate the Scottish commercial property market. The capital recorded £1.01bn in commercial property sales during 2019, some £379m (60%) more than in 2018, and accounted for 30% of the Scottish commercial property market by value. 

Glasgow also saw an increase in the total value of its commercial property sales. Scotland’s largest city saw total sales of £753m, some £229m (44%) higher than in 2018, and captured a 22% share of the Scottish commercial property market. 

Of the 4,667 commercial property transactions in Scotland during 2019, only 97 (2%) sold for over £5m. However, with a combined value of £1.75bn, these transactions accounted for more than half of the Scottish market by value. In total, 15 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities saw sales at this section of the market in 2019. 

”We’re pleased to see the Scottish commercial property sales market continue to grow in what has been an uncertain time for the economy and businesses. We expect to see this resilience turn into stronger confidence in the commercial property markets during the course of 2020,” commented David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation.“Our analysis shows the strength of both Edinburgh and Glasgow, which between them accounted for more than half of the Scottish market in 2019 in value terms.”  

“Edinburgh has seen a particularly strong year with several high value transactions occurring in 2019, including the sale of Standard Life Aberdeen’s headquarters and M&G Real Estate’s acquisition of Exchange Plaza. Glasgow saw a number of high-value retail transactions by overseas investors, including assets at the Great Western Retail Park and the Sauchiehall Building in the city centre,” added David Melhuish.