Leigh Parsons, head of licensed and leisure at property consultants Colliers International in Leeds
What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire and Humber?
If only we knew. My feeling is that we have seen as much devaluation as we are going to but values will remain at current levels for some considerable time. Even when the banks start lending on a more commercial model, rather than the risk-free approach they are currently taking, the laws of supply and demand will suppress any value increase as there is a lot of stock yet to come to the market.
What is the best project you have been involved in?
Out of area but Doxford Hall in Northumberland. The owner had put his heart and soul into the creation of a beautiful country house hotel and was selling to fund the establishment of a cancer charity, Daft as a Brush Cancer Care.
What is your favourite building in the region and why?
Wentworth Woodhouse, near Rotherham. One of the finest country houses in England – a truly stunning Georgian palace in the middle of the South Yorkshire coalfields. Hopefully one day it will be returned to something like its former glory
If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in this region, what would it be?
Ask the lending organisations to be more imaginative and decisive with their distressed loan book – either divest or re-invest. At the moment I get the impression they’re marking time.
Whom do you most admire in the property industry?
Tom Bloxham, Urban Splash. I just love their ambitions to re-invigorate the wonderful urban heritage properties in the North of England.