Property industry calls for government to restore investor confidence in Scotland

Property industry calls for government to restore investor confidence in Scotland

The Scottish property industry has highlighted the critical need for clarity from the Scottish Government to support investment in Scotland’s built environment.

Scottish Property Federation members and stakeholders gathered in Glasgow yesterday for the SPF Annual Conference to discuss key issues for the industry, including boosting housing supply and decarbonising Scotland’s buildings.

The recently published Scottish Housing Bill was a key focus for delegates, with concern that the proposals for rent controls could risk over £2.5 billion of investment in new homes for rent. The knock-on impacts of losing jobs and wider economic benefits that modern Build-to-Rent brings to our towns and cities was also highlighted.

Industry experts highlighted how the bill, as currently drafted, provides little clarity on the future rent control system, and has led the vast majority of institutional investors sidelining Scotland when it comes to new investment in purpose built rental properties.

At the conference, SPF chair, Maria Francké, commented: “Uncertainty around rent control policies has devastated the future supply of Build-to-Rent housing in Scotland. This is not just impacting on the delivery and pipeline of new private sector rented homes but also wider investor and developer confidence in other sectors.”

The conference also welcomed Jonathan Guthrie of Robertson Group as the next vice-chair of the Scottish Property Federation. Jonathan will become the chair of the organisation in June 2025, succeeding Stuart Oag of Drum Property Group, who will take over as SPF chair from Maria Francké in the summer.

The conference, attended by some 250 investors and property experts, heard from a range of political and industry leaders including Scottish Labour’s Business Spokesperson Daniel Johnson MSP; Scottish Housing Minister Paul McLennan MSP; The Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights, Patrick Harvie MSP; and Leader of Dundee City Council, Councillor John Alexander. The conference also heard from Scotland Office Minister John Lamont MP.

The SPF event was sponsored and partnered by Robertson Group, Ocean Terminal, Invest Aberdeen, City of Edinburgh Council, Invest Dundee and Invest Glasgow.

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