With issues such as independence, Brexit and the growing influence of the SNP Scotland has frequently been in the headlines over the last few years. In this special report we will review the market and take a closer a look at some of the issues investors might need
to know when considering investing in property in Scotland.
Economy and Prospects
Scotland’s economy is of course interlinked with the UK as a whole but let’s try and focus in and take a look at Scotland specifically. The GDP of Scotland was £152bn in 2015 compared to the UK as a whole at £2tn. Scottish Government figures (2012) say that when expressed as GDP per head then, due to the country’s relatively small population, Scotland is the 14th richest country worldwide, slightly behind Germany and ahead of France.
Over the last decade Scotland’s economy has grown gradually, typically just a few fractions of a percent behind overall UK growth. However, in the last quarter of 2016 Scotland’s economy contracted while the UK economy as a whole grew slightly. Scottish onshore GDP (which excludes oil production) fell by 0.2% while the UK economy grew by 0.7%. As to the future, the latest Scottish Government growth forecasts (March 2017) are for 1% growth in 2016-17 and 1.3% growth in 2017-18. Current OBR forecasts – which ought to be considered in the uncertain climate of Brexit –suggest the UK as a whole will grow 2% this year, and 1.6% next year.
One statistic of concern is that the Scottish Government’s latest annual estimate puts the country’s deficit at £15bn or 9.5% of GDP – more than any EU member state.