Property market weathering storm

Full extent of Brexit impact yet to be seen, says Christie & Co

• The Red Lion in Fife is one of the pubs currently on the market through Christie & Co.
• The Red Lion in Fife is one of the pubs currently on the market through Christie & Co.

THERE remains a “growing appetite” for licensed trade businesses across Scotland “despite some challenges”.
That’s the view of Josh Hill, licensed business agent at Christie & Co, who said that although the full extent of the Brexit impact remains to be seen, single asset owner operators and entrepreneurs “have not been put off” by the referendum result. “We have seen consistent buyers across the board seeking well-trading businesses across Scotland whilst pub companies are continuing to grow where needed,” said Hill.

There is a growing appetite for licensed trade premises.

City centre pubs are said to be performing particularly well, with Hill claiming that Edinburgh “remains desirable with many buyers from the pub and restaurant sectors”; popular areas include Stockbridge, Morningside and Tollcross, with Lothian Road
and Leith Walk said to be benefitting from a resurgence in recent years. Glasgow city centre is also said to be doing well, as Hill commented that Christie & Co is “seeing quick transactions for both confidential and fully-marketed instructions from both experienced operators and first-time buyers”.
When it comes to businesses in rural locations, the property agent said they are “experiencing more turbulent times”, citing the lower drink drive limit as having had a “dramatic effect” on pubs across Scotland.
Looking ahead, Hill said it remains to be seen how Brexit will impact on the licensed trade.
“Over the past six months, we have seen a small number of first-time buyers question the stability of the market due to the recent referendum vote; however, we would put this down to lack of experience without any real reason for concern,” he said.
“The full extent of the impact that Brexit and other political factors will have on Scotland’s pub industry remains to be seen, but we expect the sector to weather the storms and keep developing to ensure it heads in the right direction.”