INVESTMENT in Scotland’s commercial property market by overseas investors has risen dramatically since the 2014 independence referendum, while expenditure by UK institutions has dwindled.

Analysis by property firm Knight Frank has highlighted a radical change to the investor mix for commercial real estate in Scotland in the last five years.

READ MORE: Shell eyes North Sea oil and gas developments amid drive to go green 

Overseas investors have increased their share of investment in Scottish commercial property to 42.45 per cent from 22.78% since 2014, upping their capital spend to £5.9 billion from £1.6bn in the process, the company found.

However, the share of expenditure by UK institutions has dropped from 44.82% in the run-up to the 2014 referendum to 25.59%.

Underlining the trend, the agent said overseas investors have accounted for 55% of the amount spent on Scottish commercial property so far this year, with UK institutions responsible for 16%.

South Korean investors have clinched three of the sector’s most eye-catching deals this year. These saw the Leonardo Innovation Hub at Edinburgh’s Crewe Toll sold for £100 million, a building let to the NHS at Gyle Square change hands for £55m, and the sale of Glasgow’s 110 St Vincent Street, occupied by Bank of Scotland.

READ MORE: Tories forfeiting right to be taken seriously, says Mike Russell 

This year has also seen 4-8 St Andrew Square, home to investment giant Standard Life Aberdeen, acquired by KanAm, one of Germany’s largest pension funds, for £124m.

Alasdair Steele of Knight Frank said the independence referendum of 2014 was a “turning point” for the market. Mr Steele said: “In the build-up to the referendum UK institutions paused for thought, which opened up the market for new buyers.

“Since then, we’ve seen investment come in from across the globe, ranging from Middle Eastern and US funds to, more recently, [South] Korean investors acquiring prime buildings.”