Sales suggest ‘green shoots’ of recovery

PROPERTY firm Smith & Clough Business Associates claims it is continuing to see the “green shoots” of recovery in the commercial property market.

Last year the firm reported an increase in activity and transaction levels, and the company’s directors claim the market has continued to flourish in 2015.

Jonathan Clough, director of the company, said: “As a firm, we have been encouraged by the strong appetite we are experiencing from buyers in the licensed, leisure and retail sectors.

The Creebridge House Hotel in Newton Stewart is among the properties to have changed hands.
The Creebridge House Hotel in Newton Stewart is among the properties to have changed hands.

“However, more importantly, the level of transactions we are experiencing has increased significantly, meaning not only is the desire there, but [so is] the wherewithal with buyers to get the deal done.”

He said funding had been particularly challenging over the last few years, but lenders’ appetite for the sector is now growing.

Clough said there had been “a significant rise” in first time buyers, with redundancies as a result of the economic landscape prompting more business start-ups.

He said: “This has been reflected in the high volume of deals we have carried out, with recent deals including Wee Cucina in Giffnock, Caprice in Ayr, Café Wander in Finnieston, Glasgow, Baguette in Haddington and the Green Shutters in Largs, all of which were sold to first time, cash buyers and generated high levels of interest.”

Other deals the firm handled included the sale of the Queensberry Hotel in Dumfries on behalf of administrators KPMG, as well as the sale of Caffe Borsa in Dundee to BrewDog, The Creebridge House Hotel in Newton Stewart and the Lochnell Arms Hotel in Oban.

And, looking ahead, the firm is upbeat about sales.

Clough added: “All in all, we continue to be extremely positive and optimistic about the market going forward, and as a company we are ideally placed to capitalise on the many opportunities that are out there.”