ULI UK: Emerging Trends Presentation in Edinburgh

ULI UK held its first event in Scotland on the 26th February when the ULI/PwC Emerging Trends in Real Estate report was presented to over 60 real estate professionals in Edinburgh. Kindly hosted by the City of Edinburgh in its magnificent Assembly Hall, the event examined how Edinburgh’s property market fared against other European cities.

Joe Montgomery, ULI Europe’s Chief Executive, provided insights into the findings of the Emerging Trends report, before Sue Bruce, Chief Executive of the City of Edinburgh, explained the role the city is playing in driving the area’s property market recovery.

John Forbes (John Forbes Consulting), then facilitated a panel debate with Lynda Shillaw (Head of SWIP Real Estate), David Davidson (Managing Director of Cushman and Wakefield in Scotland) and Nick Peet (Relationship Director, Real Estate Finance, Santander Corporate Banking).

The panel explored how some of the European trends were manifesting in a Scottish context:

  • In the UK, Edinburgh stands out due to its continual improvement in international accessibility and brand, which is further supported by the city’s long-term strategic development projects.
  • All panellists agreed that they were more optimistic about the outlook for the market, but were still sensitive to risk.
  • The upcoming 18-24 months was seen as a window of opportunity in Edinburgh. The shortage of office space and limited speculative development were highlighted as key opportunities.
  • New investment is shaping the local landscape within investment in hotels, private rental, student and health.
  • The need for cities to embrace ‘cyclability’ and ensure connectivity with inner city locations was seen as crucial for the success of the city.
  • The property investment market was not yet being impacted by the Scottish independence vote but it was recognised that there could be a significant change if the result is a yes leading to market uncertainty.

Nick Peet, Relationship Director, Real Estate Finance at Santander Corporate Banking commented: “A very detailed and enjoyable discussion that clearly captured the profile of the increased levels of activity within our industry but also recognising that there remained much caution as well as optimism.”

View the Emerging Trends in Real Estate report here