SCOTTISH surveyors have reported stronger demand for shops, offices and industrial space in the last quarter of 2013, writes Scott Wright.

A net balance of 48% of respondents to RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) UK commercial market survey cited growing optimism about the economy and more accessible lending as factors driving the growing demand.

The survey also found a net balance of 46% surveyors reported an increase in enquiries for investment in retail space, with respondents stating their expectation that the volume of retail transactions would increase over the next quarter (43%).

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Sarah Speirs, director of RICS Scotland, said: "The Scottish economy ended 2013 on a much more positive note and this was reflected in stronger demand for shops, offices and industrial space.

"The more upbeat picture is even beginning to filter through to rents and investment, although the improvements are still tentative at this stage."

Although demand for space grew, a balance of 33% reported a fall in the volume of property available.