What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire and the Humber?
I’m cautiously optimistic, both about the region’s prospects and those of GVA in Leeds. We’ve recently added a new investment director and a retail surveyor to our agency team, and current enquiry levels bode well, particularly the number of sales opportunities flowing from our corporate recovery team.
Longer term, we need to see the economy growing and banks lending to enable speculative development to take place and to encourage the return of pre-recession buoyancy to the sector.
What is the best project you have been involved in?
Providing business rates advice to the Government on Quarry House, Leeds. This is a unique property, not necessarily a beauty in most people’s eyes, but I think it is one which will stand the test of time. It is certainly the only office building I have seen with its own swimming pool.
What is your favourite building in the region and why?
It has to be York Minster, a really beautiful structure. Every time I see it, I’m in awe of the skills of the craftsmen who built it.
If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in the region what would it be?
I hope that the major banks will soon re-enter the property market, with sensible lending based on well-informed and realistic valuations.
Whom do you most admire in the property industry?
I admire the current crop of graduates who are working so hard in the property market and who believe, as do I, that there will be a reward in the future.