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Welcome

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A dynamic place to invest

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Welcome to the fifth edition of Commercial Matters, which sees us yet again in election mode with the potential changes that brings.

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The firm itself has undergone some recent changes. Following the appointment of Pam Over to chief executive in January this year, I am now leading the Commercial division, and we have rebranded to Galbraith to reflect the continuing evolution of the business. Although our name may have slightly changed, our values, ethos and commitment to providing the highest quality of personal service remain central to all that we do. Change is a constant. At the time of writing, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a General Election to be held on June 8, soon after Scotland’s local elections on 4 May. Despite the perceived uncertainty of the General Election and continued noise around a second Scottish Independence Referendum, we remain confident in our marketplace and Scotland as a whole as a secure and dynamic place in which to invest, live, and conduct business. We are fortunate through our wider business operations to work with a range of overseas clients. Sometimes our own perspective needs to be challenged, and it is encouraging that they see Scotland as a vibrant and attractive place to invest, with clear longer-term potential for economic and asset value growth. That’s why we continue to develop and invest in the firm and we’re pleased to welcome our new, experienced investment agency team who introduce themselves with their article on this page. Enjoy the issue. Richard Higgins richard.higgins@galbraithgroup.com 01786 434625

Galbraith is Scotland’s leading independent property consultancy. Drawing on a century of experience in land and property management, the firm is progressive and dynamic, employing more than 250 people in offices throughout Scotland.

Cover story: When selling at auction is the right choice.

The rating system: Time for change?

6 Interactive maps give a new view of data.

7 Deal round-up.

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Changing face of the industry: A mother and daughter compare notes.

9 Advice for occupiers on the move.

10 Added value from the Office Agents Society. Avoiding a schedule of condition on a new lease.

11 Taking the risk out of planning.

Galbraith provides a personal service, listening to clients and delivering advice to suit their particular opportunities and circumstances. Follow us on Twitter.

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It is fair to say that Brexit is the focus of most economic and market commentary at present – and for good reason. It will be some years until we see the final result of triggering Article 50 and, yes, that creates uncertainty in the markets affected, but as John Lennon once said: “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” It seems that for a decade now we have been living against a backdrop of one event or another creating uncertainty: the global financial crisis, the Scottish Independence Referendum, the General Election; the Scottish Elections, the EU Referendum, the US Presidential Election; the triggering of Article 50, the prospect of a second Independence Referendum in Scotland, and now another General Election on June 8. Is this the new normal? It feels like it, at least for the foreseeable future. Despite this, property remains a fundamentally safe asset class, providing strong income returns and, in many cases, secure long-term capital preservation. These characteristics of property remain true whilst bond yields and returns on cash are at historically low levels. Property risk premium is now evident and therefore bricks and mortar are an attractive prospect. Investor preferences may change over time as a result of continued political and economic uncertainties. Many investors, and in particular institutional investors, are now taking a more cautious approach to risk. This has led to a significant increase in demand for properties providing long secure income streams, resulting in increased competition for a limited number of assets and inevitably continuing yield compression in this area. Opportunities in logistics, alternative and PRS (Private Rented Sector) are favoured. Conversely, those investors who are seeking yield through adding value, such as wellfunded property companies, may have a bit less competition to deal with. Multi-let industrial, office repositioning opportunities and strategic development can provide this. For private investors in the sub-£5 million category, competition can still be fierce for quality assets for which debt is easily accessible. Transactional volumes over the last 12 to 18 months are down. However, this is largely due to lower stock availability/liquidity rather than lack of investor appetite for the sector.

The firm provides a full range of property consulting services across the commercial, residential, rural and energy sectors.

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Jamie Thain and Will Sandwell on the enduring appeal of bricks and mortar in uncertain times.

Commercial Matters is produced by J ­K Consultancy, Glasgow, and designed by George Gray Media & Design, St Andeux, France. © CKD Galbraith LLP.

Page 2 | Commercial Matters Summer 2017 | galbraithgroup.com

A slower, more selective development market has led to a lower level of development pipeline across the traditional sectors than we have seen in the past, and this is helping to support rental levels in the occupational markets. The drop in the value of Sterling has made the UK an attractive investment proposition for overseas buyers. Many of these investors operate on a global scale and see the UK –

Galbraith Commercial Matters Edition 5  

The 5th edition of the Galbraith Commercial Industry insider.

Galbraith Commercial Matters Edition 5  

The 5th edition of the Galbraith Commercial Industry insider.