Colliers: Retail bounce-back in Scotland

Investment into Scottish commercial property reached £2.2 billion in 2021, according to the latest Scotland Snapshot from Colliers.

The figure represents an improvement of almost 50 per cent on the £1.4 billion recorded in 2020 and is above the 10-year average of £2 billion.

Retail, which experienced a bounce back in investment saw volumes reach £530 million, a three-year high.

There were particularly high levels of activity in the retail warehouse sector which reached £300 million, 75 per cent above the 10-year average.

While shopping centre investment remained almost 40 per cent below the 10-year average it did reach a five year high of £160 million – the last four years recorded volumes of below £50 million.

The office investment market reached £640 million in 2021, up significantly on the £380 million recorded in 2020 but just shy of the 10-year average of £680 million. Cross-border capital accounted for around 45 per cent of all office investment by value last year notes Colliers.


Patrick Ford in the national capital markets team at Colliers Scotland, said: “Last year we saw a real return in investment activity across all sectors following a quiet 2020. Prime assets such as Waverleygate and Aurora generated strong interest and we’ve seen a competitive bid process return, particularly for well located, best in class office assets such as these.”

The Colliers Snapshot shows that around £340 million was transacted in the industrial sector in 2021, up from the £220 million seen in 2020 and almost 50 per cent above the 10-year average of £230 million. Yields firmed by around 100 bps in 2021 as demand remained strong and supply reduced.

In the alternatives, mixed use and hotels sector the combined investment total hit £760 million in 2021, 50 per cent above the 10-year average for £510 million. Appetite for hotels remained strong as did residential investment: in Q4 Vita Group agreed a £47 million forward funding of 60 BTR units, 20 affordable apartments and 205 managed student homes on Edinburgh’s Iona Street.

It comes as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said sales rose by 1.9% in January, meaning they were 3.6% above pre-pandemic levels.

Mr Ford added: “The broad level of appetite, which was followed up by tangible investment into Scottish commercial property last year gives me high hopes for the coming year.

“As travel opens up, we’re looking forward to welcoming capital from Asia and the Middle East back to Scotland, many of whom have a significant amount of capital to allocate.

“Already in January we’ve seen European Private Equity firm, Henderson Park exchange contracts on Silverburn Shopping Centre as investors focus on off-market retail acquisitions, as they have seen an opportunity to invest in modern assets with immediate upside potential.”

Royal Bank owner ‘acutely aware’ of cost of living crisis amid profit surge

ROYAL Bank of Scotland owner NatWest Group returned to the black last year as the economy continued its recovery from the pandemic, and pledged to commence a £750 million share buyback in the first half of the year.

Shares were down more than three per cent in early trading, as chief executive Alison Rose stated the bank was “acutely aware of the challenges” families and businesses face from the growing cost of living crisis.

​Scottish city in hydrogen-fuelled bin lorry coup

Aberdeen is set to use the first hydrogen-fuelled bin lorry in the UK as its city council bids to reduce emissions associated with the delivery of services.

A truck powered by a hydrogen fuel cell will be used to collect waste from some of the city’s residential areas from March to test the potential of the technology.


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