Scottish market is strong and stable

Brexit effect has not stalled interest from investors

Foreign hotel investors are said to be “aggressively searching and acquiring in key cities”

THE continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit hasn’t stifled investment in Scotland’s hospitality sector, according to a recent report from property firm Christie & Co.

In its Scotland Business Outlook 2019 report, the company said commercial property transactions in the sector remained strong in 2018, with tourism figures helping to keep investors interested.

It credited major developments, such as the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, the North Coast 500 route and the V&A museum in Dundee, with “significantly” boosting visitor numbers in tourist ‘hot spots’.

Foreign hotel investors were claimed to still be “aggressively searching and acquiring in key cities”.

International operators are said to be looking beyond the “focal point” of Edinburgh to Glasgow and recognised tourist destinations such as Inverness, Pitlochry and Skye.

The private freehold pubs market saw increased interest in the second half of 2018, said the report, with pubs typically sold quickly and for above average prices. particularly in cities.

However, the report also flagged difficulties in the rural market, stating it was becoming “increasingly difficult to navigate” because the success of businesses tends to be tied to the “personal goodwill” of the operator.

Brian Sheldon, regional director, Scotland, at Christie & Co, said: “Transactional activity across the hospitality market remained stable in Scotland throughout 2018, with notably increased activity in the freehold pubs market and the independent hotel sector in strong tourist areas.”