Investment in Scottish commercial property fell by £550 million in 2019, with High Street woes taking their toll, writes Kristy Dorsey.

According to figures from real estate consultancy Knight Frank, £2.07 billion worth of deals were concluded last year. This was down from £2.62bn in 2018, and 10.4 per cent below the five-year average.

Transactions for shop units were nearly 80% below the five-year average at just £44 million, while shopping centres represented £38m of investment, 81% adrift of the five-year average of £197.6m.

At the other end of the spectrum, Edinburgh offices were the stand-out asset class in 2019 at £484m, up 70% on the previous year’s total of £284m. This was driven by a series of major transactions in the first half of the year, such as the Leonardo Innovation Hub at Crewe Toll and 4-8 St Andrew Square.

Alasdair Steele, head of commercial at Knight Frank, described the overall result as “resilient” amid the political and macro-economic challenges. But after a quiet fourth quarter before the General Election, 2020 is off to a strong start, with interest from international sources. Overseas investors represented 56% of investment in Scottish commercial property last year, while UK institutions’ share fell to 14%. Mr Steele said Korean funds were particularly active in 2019, as was Middle Eastern interest.