As a global tourist destination, Scotland has long attracted international interest from holidaymakers. But Caledonia has more to offer than breathtaking scenery and whisky. International interest in the country’s commercial property market is on the up.
Savills research shows the international market in 2015, year to date, accounts for 40 per cent of all £10 million plus transactions in Scotland, with buyers from Holland, Singapore, South Africa, US, Spain and Middle East spending more than £400 million.
This marks a significant increase in international interest since 2005 when non-domestic buyers accounted for only 6 per cent of the market.
The opportunist US-based buyers are the most prevalent, attracted to Scotland’s better quality, and higher yielding product in the secondary market, and accounting for 40 per cent of all international sales. Key deals include the purchase of Glasgow’s Granite House for £26.8 million by Ambassador Group working with New York-based Fortress Investment Group, and Benson Elliot’s circa £15.4 million acquisition of 150 St Vincent Street. There’s also a growing interest from Shariah funds.
The growth in international buyers has largely replaced the number of debt- backed and Irish investors in Scotland, who made up 58 per cent of the market in 2005 fuelled by money from high street/retail banks.
And why the growth? By and large because Scotland’s investment and development opportunities appear undervalued relative to similar stock in other UK regional markets.