The referendum result means that a great deal of uncertainty over the commercial property market in Scotland and the rest of the UK has been alleviated. The market was particularly concerned that in the event of a ‘Yes’, large numbers of Scottish businesses might have moved further south over concerns that the independent country would not prove to be as viable financially. Even huge companies such as the Royal Bank of Scotland had indicated that they might have relocated to stay attached to London.
The result means that commercial property managers are no longer concerned that they may lose tenants in droves, and things are looking strong as a result.
The impending referendum meant that a great deal of business activity was put on hold as the result was awaited. This should now begin to be pushed through and implemented, breathing life back into the market as operations kick into gear. Many local property developers have indicated that they believed clients were holding back on expansion plans in particular, but it is likely that they will pick up again over the coming months as demand for floor space begins to grow.
One of the major factors in market optimism is that, while the result meant that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom, it is likely to be given further control over its own affairs, and this may also be carried out in other regions. In theory, this will help to encourage businesses to spread out across the country, rather than being focused on London. It remains to be seen whether things will play out like this, but there is optimism nonetheless that we could see more major tenants moving up North in the relatively near future, and there are an increasing number of high-quality builds that match that of somewhere like London Executive Offices in the planning stages.
On the other hand, the promise of further devolution of powers means that some potential occupiers are still looking to wait and find out what is in store before they make any major moves. The outlook then is good, but it may still be some time before we really start to see things pick up again. The industry is certainly recovering well after the recession, but this referendum was a significant barrier to pre-2008 levels.