Company News & Blog

29th March 2016
Published by: Commercial Property Monthly

In My View

2015 saw a return of confidence and increased levels of activity in some sectors of the commercial property market across Fife and the early signs in 2016 are that a return to positivity is continuing.  This is despite the 'blip' caused by the temporary closure of the Forth Road Bridge in December 2015.  Whilst causing major headaches for anyone travelling to and from the region, the closure highlighted the vital strategic importance of the new Queensferry Crossing which is due for completion in December 2016.

The opening of the new bridge, which may be in advance of the anticipated date, will provide a massive boost to the Fife economy.  In late 2015 there was another boost to the area with the announcement of further multi-million pound joint investment by DFDS Seawyas and Forth Posts in improvements in the Rosyth/Zeebrugge Ferry route and the potential exists for the Bridgehead area, encompassing the towns of Rosyth, Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay as well as Dunfermline, to not only compete with Edinburgh and the Lothians but to grow into the prime transport and business hub in East Central Scotland.

Activity in the industrial sector of the market continues to rise and there is no doubt that the construction of the bridge is the major factor.  Hardies recently completed the letting of a 7,000 sq ft warehouse property at Pitreavie Industrial Estate with the rental agreed at a comparatively strong £6 per sq ft.  The property was let to a multi-national telecommunications company with the new bridge cited as the key factor in their choice of location.

As letting agents on Elgin Industrial Estate, Dunfermline's other prime industrial location, we are witnessing continually rising levels of enquiries.  In terms of availability, with the exception of two small 1,000 sg ft units, only one other unit extending to 3,500 sq ft remains available for lease on the estate.

Hardies are also joint agents on a strategic development site to the north of the established Mitchelston Industrial Estate, Kirkcaldy which is situated immediately adjacent to the A92 trunk road.  Extending to 79 acres and zoned for industrial and employment the site has the potential to accommodate large, strategic relocations as well as the potential to accommodate the expansion of the existing industrial estate.

The market for town centre retail remains challenged, particularly in Kirkcaldy which has been affected by a number of factors including the closure of the Tesco superstore in the centre of the town.  Notwithstanding the above, a number of long term vacant retail properties in the town centre have transacted recently, albeit at comparatively low levels of price, but a least these buildings are now being put back into economic use.

All things considered we are expecting continued signs of positivity across the region leading into Spring.

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