Analysis from the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) has shown that the total value of Scottish commercial real estate sales in Q1 2017 (January to March) fell by 19% to £795m when compared to Q4 of 2016.
Nonetheless the new data, from the Registers of Scotland on commercial property sales in Scotland for Q1 of 2017, suggests a positive improvement compared to the 2016’s Q1, with the combined value of sales up 28%.
The number of commercial property transactions in Scotland also fell 13% to 1047 between the last quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, however, the number of sales in Q1 was also up 10.6% on the comparable Q1 2016.
Q1 2017 has also seen strong investment in Scottish commercial real estate with Costar UK reporting £822m of investment, making it the best first quarter of the year on record at more than double the 10-year average.
David Melhuish, Director of the SPF, said:
“Despite the commercial property industry facing growing economic and political head winds, these figures show that in early 2017 the Scottish commercial real estate market has shown welcome resilience and recovered slightly after a poor 2016.”
“However, the general feeling in the industry is that the commercial market continues to be subdued, particularly for higher value transactions, in many areas of Scotland outside of Edinburgh.”
Edinburgh continues to dominate the Scottish commercial property market with just over a third (£269m) of the total value of all sales in Scotland originating in the Scottish Capital in Q1 2017. This is significant because Edinburgh only accounted for 12% of the total number of Scottish commercial sales.
The Aberdeen market is showing signs of stability returning despite the ongoing oil and gas industry downturn. Q1 2017 become the second consecutive quarter of growth in the total value of sales in the city, which generated £103m. Several high value transactions (£5m+) helped to boost the city’s performance.
Meanwhile, Revenue Scotland have published April’s revenue data for the Scottish Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), showing that the tax (now in its third year) generated £47.1m. This is up from £45m in March 2017. However, the Commercial element of the tax saw revenues fall slightly from previous month to £18.8m. ADS continues to boost government LBTT revenues, with £9.9m generated from the 3% second home tax. This is up by over £8m from the same month in 2016.