INTERNATIONAL property investors have bought a prestigious building in Edinburgh in a £26 million deal that reflects strong confidence in the prospects for the city’s economy.

Rockspring acquired the Grade A listed property on the west side of St Andrew Square in Edinburgh city centre on behalf of Hanover Unit Trust, from a US investor which owned it for 17 years.

The property has a Sainsbury’s store on the ground level with six floors of offices above. It was the head office of Scottish Widows before the life and pensions business was bought by Lloyds bank.

The building occupies a prominent position in an area which is being transformed by major developments.

It faces the building on the south side of St Andrew Square completed by Standard Life Aberdeen, which houses the financial services giant’s investment management operation and restaurants such as The Ivy.

Mischa Davis, Hanover fund manager at Rockspring, said: “The Edinburgh office market offers a compelling investment case with an undersupply of available space generating rental growth.”

He noted the property Hanover bought at 9-10 St Andrew Square is fully let to “strong covenants”. It generates £1.4m rental income annually.

Sainsbury’s bought the building in 1999 as a home for a store and a property development opportunity. It was acquired by US investment business Mont Regis in 2000.

Smolka Strachan advised Mont Regis on the sale to Rockspring, which was advised by Cuthbert White.