Office occupier behaviour is different in Aberdeen than in either Edinburgh or Glasgow, according to property agent FG Burnett.
While companies elsewhere in Scotland seem to be taking time out until the independence debate is settled before making any major office investment decisions, the Granite City firm says it is business as usual for most occupiers in Aberdeen.
FG Burnett director David MacLeod said: “It is well-documented that across Scotland the majority of investment buyers are watching from the sidelines and it could be said they are pausing for breath until after the vote on September 18
“But in my experience there is a marked difference in occupier sentiment, with office and industrial occupiers in Edinburgh and Glasgow being more cautious about the referendum than occupiers in Aberdeen.”
Mr MacLeod believes Aberdeen’s status as European energy capital, with many of the world’s largest oil and gas firms having offices in the city, has a direct impact on the mindset of occupiers.
He said: “The outcome of the referendum is rarely mentioned by occupiers in Aberdeen in connection with decision-making and that is surely a reflection of the global nature of the energy industry.
“Companies working on a global scale in the sector have decades of experience in a variety of legal, financial and political jurisdictions, as well as operating in different cultures and in extremely volatile geopolitical situations.
“The independence debate is obviously on the agenda, but does not seem to be affecting deal flow.”
Mr MacLeod, who advises clients such as Drum Property Group, Total and Rockspring, added: “We have experienced a raft of new international entrants to the UK continental shelf in the past year or so, and the increasing level and quality of exports from Aberdeen-based companies to international markets all point to these businesses looking at the bigger picture.”
Edinburgh and Glasgow property markets have some important differences from Aberdeen but occupier behaviour in the Granite City offers a unique perspective to the independence debate, he said.
He added: “It shows that regardless of politics there will always be a way forward and if the prize is big enough, business will work out a solution.”
FG Burnett has Scotland-wide coverage for a wide range of property-related services.