Scottish independence, overseas inward investment, the state of the economy and the fragile Eurozone's affect on the UK were all subjects hotly debated at at last night's Property Question Time event held in Glasgow writes Lisa Pilkington.
Hosted by the Glasgow Property Professionals organisation and sponsored by DWF Biggart Baillie and the Estates Gazette, guests braved the elements to hear an expert panel debating the hot topics of the day.
Opinion remains divided on the thorny issue of independence and whether the Scottish investment market is experiencing resistance from investors due to a lack of certainty on the subject. Panellist and investment partner at agent Ryden, Steven Gay, didn't think independence will deter investors from south of the border or overseas.
"There certainly was resistance from fund managers to invest in Scotland this time last year but attitudes have changed. I think they will probably do limited investment until 2014," he said.
Cowe also said slightly off prime pitch offices should now be considered as prime is too expensive. He believes investors should look to good quality grade A space just off the beaten track to invest in with yields around circa 6-7%
Student housing, secondary sales of assets on the back of the sale of loan books and the burgeoning retirement accommodation market in Scotland were also predicted by the panel to be future investment hot spots.
It was good to hear SWIP is not downbeat about the global economy: "We don't expect the world to fall back into global recession."
But the picture in Europe is not so bright. "The Eurozone is likely to contract in Q3 2012, meaning that it will be in recession again," predicts Cowe. According to SWIP, unsurprisingly, the UK's economic landscape remains weak with London and the South East continuing to be the driving force.
However, he warned: "We think that London is just about at the end of its good run and rents will start to decline. As for Edinburgh and Glasgow, we believe they are now at the bottom of the market so hopefully the next move will see rents starting to increase."
Panellists included: Aileen Knox, senior director CBRE; Sandy Gilmour, investment and development surveyor - Graham & Sibbald; Dr John Boyle, head of research at Rettie & Co; SWIP's Stewart Cowe and Ryden's Steven Gay.
Lisa Pilkington is EG's new correspondent for Scotland email@example.com
We'll be launching the synopsis for our next Scotland Focus at a lunchtime reception in Glasgow on Friday Oct 12. For more details and how to register to attend visit our dedicated page on EG.com