Politically and economically, 2022 was a tumultuous year. Despite an encouraging start, by the third quarter it was clear that Scotland’s property sector was being impacted by spiralling inflation, soaring energy costs and increasing interest rates, writes Barry McKeown.
Yet, let me recall some positive highlights from 2022 before underlining why there’s also scope for optimism in Scotland’s property sector in the year ahead:
Haymarket Edinburgh, the £350 million first new Grade A office building in the capital for a number of years, achieved practical completion and is fully let. Developed by Qmile Group, Shoosmiths is among the new tenants at 1 Haymarket Square. Across the M8, HFD Group sold their flagship new 315,000 square foot office development at 177 Bothwell Street in Glasgow for £215m – a sign of the confidence in Scotland’s office sector. Investment activity across Scotland reached a four-year high in the half year to July 2022. The Build-to-Rent (BTR) sector continued apace with strong development and investment figures across Scotland. Notably, Sigma Capital marked its first foray into the Scottish market with its single family housing BTR platform. On Edinburgh’s Princes Street, the Johnnie Walker experience achieved 300,000 visitors in its first year – showing the power of experience-led retail. Shoosmiths’ client Lush, the cosmetic retailer, also signed a new 15-year lease in Glasgow’s “Golden Style Mile” and it also promises “an immersive retail and spa experience”.
These are just some of the positive stories from 2022 to be celebrated. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that the publication of the latest economic data for the fourth quarter in 2022 will be sobering reading. So, what does the future hold for Scotland’s real estate sector?