What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire and Humber?
Confidence and appetite is at its peak since the downturn and there are no signs of it slowing down. This has been demonstrated by a number of notable investment sales selling in excess of the asking price during Q1/Q2 2014. I’m forecasting more competition and investment demand in the region in 2014/15 and a number of significant pre-lets particularly in the office sector. Take up figures will be bolstered by the long overdue increase in inward investment in Leeds including SANEF and Samsung. We are also likely to see a steady rise in speculative development in both office and industrial sectors given the increase in occupier demand.
What is the best project you have been involved in?
The former Yorkshire Post site on Wellington Street has been a significant project I’ve been involved in selling and is particularly exciting now I’m working with a team to evolve plans for its future use/development.
What is your favourite building in the region and why?
I’m fond of both iconic period buildings and new contemporary designs so it would be a toss-up between Leeds Town Hall with its commanding Victorian architecture and Leeds Arena with its bespoke honeycomb illuminated façade.
If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in this region, what would it be?
It would have to be more public open space around the city centre similar to Park Square and for some of the derelict sites to come forward and complete the overall picture.
Who has inspired you?
Working with the team at Town Centre Securities has inspired me as they’ve seen angles and vision to provide wholesale regeneration of a large and challenging asset at the Merrion Centre in Leeds.