Edinburgh commercial property market in 2021 guide, Scottish capital buildings review

What Happened in the Commercial Property Market in Edinburgh 2021?

4 February 2022

What were the changes to Edinburgh’s commercial property market in 2021? We explore this question, here:

Home to the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh has been the Scottish capital since 1437, and combines a buzzing metropolis with stunning historical architecture. There are over 50,000 companies in Edinburgh, so commercial property has always been big business.

Edinburgh commercial property market in 2021

As with other cities, the pandemic hit Edinburgh hard, and many business owners from Bristol to London sought trusted legal advice as the market tumbled to just £355 million. Conveyancing quotes in 2021 rose dramatically, as did conveyancing fees due to the post 2020 demand.

The question is, what is the picture looking like in the UK, specifically in Edinburgh, for commercial property after 2021? Let’s explore…

The Commercial Property Market in the UK 2021

During the pandemic, demand for commercial property waned, as working from home became the norm. That said, hybrid working has called for a change in the way companies run, with many moving to smaller office spaces to make way for hot desking.

With London being the hub for the UK commercial sector, much of the data surrounds this city. The London Report says: “London is uniquely placed to not only drive business growth and attract global capital, but also respond to the new demands of a post-pandemic world – greater sustainability, more flexibility over working patterns and a higher regard for workplace wellbeing.”

London law firms have said that the top commercial considerations for businesses in this new dawn include:

  • Adding Covid-related clauses to lease agreements.
  • Agreeing on rent clauses and deposits.
  • Keeping on top of debtors.
  • Strengthening terms and conditions.
  • Resolving internal disputes quickly.

The good news is, with many companies looking to move offices to accommodate for hybrid working, the commercial property market is improving across the UK. This picture looks to be reflected in Scotland’s commercial centre, Edinburgh.

The Commercial Property Market in Edinburgh in 2021

Now we’ve seen how the wider commercial property market in the UK has been looking in 2021, what about Edinburgh? It’s clear that things have been looking up in 2021, so let’s explore this in further detail…

Office Space at a Premium

“This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again.”

Alexander McCall Smith

In terms of commercial property, office space in the city has always been at a premium; particularly in the new financial district of West Edinburgh where rents are around £18.57 per square foot. For sale properties, prices are around £3,465,645.16.

As COVID-19 restrictions began to ease in 2021, and people began to return to the workplace, the commercial property industry in the city began to rally.

Edinburgh commercial property market building

Although sales and rental of office space regained strength, one surprising development was that, for the first time, industrial property and retail warehousing came to the fore. By the end of 2021, industrial and retail property investment in Scotland had risen by an astonishing 45 percent – culminating in an overall investment of £541 million.

Alasdair Steele of Knight Frank says, “Last year’s investment figures highlight the changes to investor demand since the pandemic began, with an almost insatiable appetite for retail warehousing and industrial property driven by changes to people’s shopping habits. That only looks likely to continue in 2022.”

New Buildings Springing Up

Edinburgh’s commercial property market is set to receive another boost this spring with the opening of the new Turnhouse Court development. Situated close to Edinburgh airport, the development features 14 units placed in three separate blocks and will cover a total of 29,044 square feet.

Restrictions in Edinburgh Lifted

Edinburgh commercial property market Museum of Scotland

On Monday the 24th of January, Scotland celebrated the lifting of most of its COVID-19 restrictions; further opening up Edinburgh’s economy. This move will almost certainly spell further growth for the region’s commercial property market, as well as creating jobs and business opportunities.

Experts predict that there will be a trend toward buying ‘outdated stock’, such as unused University and library buildings which can be reimagined into modern and functional workspaces.

The Future of Commercial Property in 2022

Edinburgh’s property market has always been fairly robust, but many have been surprised by how well it has weathered the storm of the pandemic to emerge stronger than ever. The trend toward investment in industrial and retail property can only be good news for Edinburgh, and for Scotland as a whole.

1 – Kolibiri15, https://pixabay.com/photos/scotland-england-edinburgh-city-1607930/
2 – EFAFLEX_Schnelllauftore / 6, https://pixabay.com/photos/industrial-hall-toore-warehouse-1630742/
3 – Christina Watkins, https://www.pexels.com/photo/city-hotel-building-architecture-7792354/

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Edinburgh Architecture

Rowanbank Gardens, Corstorphine
Rowanbank Gardens Housing Edinburgh
Rowanbank Gardens Edinburgh Housing

West Town Vision
West Town Edinburgh property development site
image courtesy of architects practice
West Town Edinburgh Property Vision

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