THE MANAGER of Edinburgh-based Ediston Property Investment Company has warned that the property market is likely to “pause” next year as investors take stock of the implications of the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Calum Bruce, who joined Ediston from Scottish Widows Investment Partnership in 2014 and has run the investment trust since it launched later that year, noted that while the property market is holding up well at the moment it is likely to be impacted by Brexit.

“Looking ahead to 2019 we believe that there might be a reduction in activity as investors adopt a wait-and-see position with regards to Brexit,” he said.

“It is the implications of Brexit which remain the biggest unknowns at the moment and, regardless of whether or not it is a hard Brexit, the UK property market will be impacted in some way.

“There is no consensus view as to what will happen, but it is likely that there will be a pause and more subdued property market activity.”

While he said that the Central London office sector is likely to be the most severely affected by the expected pause, Mr Bruce noted that “it is likely that all sectors will be impacted in some way”.

Despite noting that “it is clear that with Brexit there will be challenges”, however, Mr Bruce added that this is likely to create investment opportunities as well as problems.

“In an uncertain market where investors adopt different stances on key issues, there will be upside to exploit,” he said.

The trust, whose assets increased by 75 per cent to £356.6 million during the 12 months to the end of September, made a net asset value total return of 8.9% in the period.

It acquired five new assets over the year, spending a total of £146.8m. This came after the company issued £88.7m of shares in the previous year to part fund the £144m acquisition of four retail warehouse parks.

The new investments include a site for a retail warehouse park at Haddington near Edinburgh, with the managers shifting their focus to favour that type of investment during the year.

“The portfolio weighting to this sector increased from 55% to 73% with a consequential reduction in provincial offices,” said chairman William Hill. “The retail warehouse market is seen as the area offering the most attractive investment opportunities.”

The trust will pay a dividend of 5.75p for the year, up from 5.5p.