Scottish property “in need of certainty”

The Scottish property industry requires the country to have a clear political future in order to prosper, according to the head of the Scottish Property Federation.

Following a period of inertia leading up to the 2014 Scottish referendum, the political future of the country is once again in jeopardy after the result of the EU referendum. The UK as a whole opted to leave the EU by 52% to 48% but 61% of Scottish voters wanted to remain.
The first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, raised the probability of another referendum, having released a statement early this morning saying: “Scotland has delivered a strong, unequivocal vote to remain in the EU, and I welcome that endorsement of our European status.“And while the overall result remains to be declared, the vote here makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union.”

David Melhuish, director of the SPF: “We have heard an outline from the prime minister where he indicated that… devolved governments would also be involved in the discussions of where we now go.

“In Scotland in particular, in our own political context, I think it very important that we get to understand what the political process will be and what the future relationship, particularly the business and financial relationship, will be with the EU– the biggest market on our doorstep.”

Recovery in the development sector in particular is still at a fledgling stage, having been badly hit by the global financial crisis and the domestic referendum.

Melhuish said: “In our industry we are seeing some low construction orders at this point in time, which obviously relates to the fairly low level of development ongoing at this stage. Requirements for our business for new workplaces will remain but the point is we need political stability while this process and negotiation is ongoing in order for our industry to build what is needed.”

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