Overseas Investors Buying Scottish Hotels Increase Spend Sixfold in 2017

LONDON—According to international real estate advisor Savills, some $68 million (£51.295 million) has been spent in Scotland’s hotels market by overseas investors in 2017 year to date, more than six times the 2016 annual figure, which totaled roughly $10.3 million (£7.8 million).

U.S. investors have been the most prevalent, spending some $46.8 million (£35.3 million) since January, all of which was invested in Edinburgh. Key deals include PGIM’s (U.S.) acquisition of Safestay Hostel, International Hotel Properties Limited (British Virgin Islands) buying Holiday Inn Express—the largest single transaction by an overseas investor at roughly $23.48 million (£17.7 million), according to the company—and a U.S. investor purchasing The Bonham Hotel.

Indian investors have also been active, deploying $11 million (£8.3 million) in key deals including MGM Muthu Hotels acquiring both the Highland Heritage Portfolio and Newton Hotel in Nairn. Chinese group Creation Gem International Ltd has acquired The Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island, while 7 Hospitality (Singapore) has bought Dundee’s DoubleTree by Hilton.

Steven Fyfe, associate in the hotels team at Savills Scotland, said: “Hotels in U.K. regional cities are in high demand with overseas investors, fueled by the relative weakness of Sterling, resulting in advantageous exchange rates, and the sharpness of yields in prime markets, providing owners with the opportunity to sell very comfortably just now.

“Whilst Edinburgh remains the most sought after hotel market in the U.K. outside of London, Scotland’s competitive tourism industry makes assets located elsewhere attractive investments also, highlighted by 2017’s spread of deals across Dundee, Nairn, Eriska and the Isle of Bute,” he said.