Scots Independence fear hits property market

Scots Independence fear hits property market

Investors inserting ‘exit clauses’ into Scottish property deals in case the country votes for independence next week

Property investors have begun inserting "exit clauses" into Scottish property deals in case the country votes for independence next week, while the property market north of the border has slowed down in recent weeks as polls have tightened, agents have warned.

Polls released this week suggested the outcome was on a knife-edge ahead of the vote next Thursday (18 September), with a Sunday Times poll suggesting a 51-49 point lead for the Yes campaign, while a TNS poll gave the No vote a slim 39-38 point lead.

This week agent CBRE said property deals were being put on hold, while some investors were inserting clauses on the result of the referendum in contracts.

CBRE said: "Purchasers of some assets are inserting a condition that relates directly to a no vote; they will only complete the deal in the event of a no result. A yes result will allow them to walk away or renegotiate the terms."

David Davidson, a partner at fellow property agent Cushman & Wakefield, said the Scottish property market had slowed in recent weeks: "It is undeniable that the market has slowed down in the last six to eight weeks.

"There is a very real risk that any transactions currently in solicitors' hands will be delayed now, given the polls at the weekend."

The comments came after reports this week suggested backers of the £350m extension to Glasgow's Buchanan Galleries shopping centre had privately raised concerns about the project going ahead due to economic uncertainty following a vote for independence.

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