Scotland's biggest city is closing the gap on other UK centres as a place for real estate investment but is still at the bottom of those outside of London.

A new report from law firm CMS found that Glasgow has a 19% approval rating among UK property professionals for real estate investment prospects, putting last among the "Big Six" (excluding London) list led by Manchester on 58%. Others on the list include Birmingham (35%), Bristol (35%), Edinburgh (30%), and Leeds (28%).

However, Glasgow was the only city to experience a steady upward trend as a place to invest since 2016. The gap between it and Manchester has also significantly shrunk, from 57 percentage points in 2016 to 39 points in the latest report.

Chris Rae, a Glasgow-based partner with CMS, said the rise in the city's appeal is down to a number of factors including its numerous and well-regarded higher education centres, its consequent pool of talent, and a well-developed transport network.

The Herald: Chris RaeChris Rae (Image: CMS)

Glasgow has also seen the development of many environmentally-friendly commercial property sites in recent years, along with long-term investment from leading corporate organisations such as Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Chubb and Virgin Money.

“Our latest global real estate report shows Glasgow is significantly narrowing the gap with Manchester and other UK regional cities as an appealing place for commercial property investment," Mr Rae said.

"Our city is often compared with Manchester, not least because of its strong transport links and top-tier talent pool. This ongoing rise in investment appeal suggests Glasgow is on the up with great opportunities yet to be explored in this dynamic city.”

The CMS Tomorrow report also highlighted concerns across the UK real estate sector about the impact of planning on future investment.

READ MORE: Glasgow: Retail property investment at highest for eight years

A massive 90% of UK respondents said they believed the planning system is not working and needs investment, with 93% agreeing it is under-resourced. Similar concerns about the potential impact of planning issues on the Scottish market were also raised in the International Scotland report jointly issued earlier this year by CMS and the Fraser of Allander Institute.

CMS Scotland partner and planning specialist Mark McMurray said the resourcing issues with the planning system are evident in Scotland, with key projects delayed by a lack of accessibility to over-stretched officers dealing with planning applications.

“Investment in additional resources would make a huge difference and reduce the delays that are evidenced by planning performance statistics," he said.

"We must also find ways to improve the clarity in the planning system, reducing the time it takes to get a decision. This will allow developers and investors to expedite their plans or, in the case of a rejected application, quickly move on to their next project."