A resurgence of commercial property sales has been noted by sales agents ASG Commercial in the past two months with 6 completed sales (5 hospitality businesses) and the placing of a further 4under offer.

This coupled with a recent upturn in residential sales by its sister organisation (Anderson Shaw and Gilbert Property) bodes well for the immediate future.

However, Paul Hart, Head of Commercial Sales with the Highland based company, stresses that the market will remain difficult but states that with positive market exposure, a degree of patience and realistic expectations deals can be achieved. Paul believes that the economic circumstances being faced at this time will be with us for a number of years and it would be frivolous to consider otherwise. “Given that t he economic downturn has continued for over 4 years and many analysts indicate matters will not improve greatly in the near future we must realign our thinking and business operations to this on-going and challenging environment,” he stated. With surveyor’s down-valuing properties and banks remaining cautious in their lending policies those wishing to sell or transfer their businesses need to accept the reality of the situation but there remainsthe capacity to sell good businesses at the right price.

Andy Gray, who has recently joined the company as a Commercial Agent highlighted two examples of the non-standard disposals that have occurred in recent weeks which could become more common place “In recent transactions some vendors have provided a degree of self-financing of their sale; this is possible where there is no immediate or pressing requirement to take the full capital value from the property. Alternatively, a lease-hold transaction in lieu of a freehold sale may suit the vendor; possibly providing an option to purchase.”

Recent success include: Castle Arms Hotel at Mey, the Millcroft Hotel in Gairloch, the Richmond Arms Hotel in Tomintoul, Craighurst Guest House in Keith and t he Central Hotel in Thurso. Of the hospitality properties presently ‘Under Offer’ there is an equally wide geographical spread. This wide spectrum of sales is encouraging as it demonstrates that across the Highlands and Islands including Moray, the area remains attractive for those seeking to start new ventures.