Help needed, experts warn

Property industry leaders have urged the Scottish Government to do everything it can to unlock the sector's potential for economic growth, as data reveals new orders for commercial development and repair work have fallen by a third since 2007.

More than 200 industry delegates gathered in Edinburgh for the Scottish Property Federation's annual conference to hear how this drop in construction and related sector output alone accounted for an estimated £2bn of economic value lost to the wider Scottish economy.

David Peck, chairman of the Scottish Property Federation, said: "Commercial property is an important bellwether for the Scottish economy.

"The health of the industry is down by every measure - be it new orders, sales or lettings. Government support for initiatives such as tax increment financing and encouraging flexible developer contributions policies by local authorities is very welcome, but we are asking the Government to go further to boost confidence in this key sector."