FURTHER HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN DUNDEE

I was delighted to hear the recent announcement in relation to the opening of a new Indigo Hotel in Dundee.  This significant investment will transform one of Dundee’s mills and will add 96 bedrooms.  I understand that work will commence sometime in 2017 with completion expected in the summer of 2018.  This investment will breathe life into the east end of Dundee and is another welcome example of the rebirth of the City.  This will follow the launch of budget hotel chain Sleeperz to the City, part of the redevelopment at Dundee railway station.  A proposed boutique hotel for customs house and various other hotel investments continue to reinforce Dundee as an up and coming tourist destination.  I also understand that there will be some announcements from Dundee Council in the next few weeks in relation to further projects at the Dundee Waterfront.  It is great to see Dundee continue to go from strength to strength and a very exciting time to work, live and be part of the City.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property 
@LindsayDarroch
www.blackadders.co.uk

COME FLY WITH ME – PART II

Readers of my blogs will know that I am a great advocate for the City of Dundee and think that the improvements that are taking place under the guidance of the Council are absolutely wonderful.  This includes not only the V&A but also the new railway station, Malmaison, various hotels and other regeneration projects.  Like most Dundonians, I was very disappointed to hear about Flybe’s decision to cancel its direct flight from Dundee Airport to Amsterdam.   I would call on the Scottish Government to take steps to rectify whatever caused Flybe to cancel this flight and should it be the infrastructure and technology available at Dundee Airport then this should be rectified as a matter of urgency. If this cannot be rectified then I would urge the relevant authorities to consider creating a hub airport at Leuchars.  Not only would this be a welcome investment into central Fife, it is vital to Dundee and the surrounding area that there is a local, regular international airport connection.  This would allow Dundee to build on the momentum of the V&A and would also increase the number of visitors to Dundee or, at the very least, make it more likely that they stayed in some of the new accommodation being built in the city.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property 
@LindsayDarroch
www.blackadders.co.uk

Multi speed property market recovery

I was very interested to read a report carried out by Savills which provided analysis of the last 15 years of land registry data.  The conclusion of this report is that the UK property market is very much following previous trends in that the property market recovery is being led by the top end properties i.e. the least affordable properties in the most affluent areas.  As Lucian Cook, Director of Research at Savills stated: “The bottom end of the market does not appear to have the potential to bounce in line with the top end, now or in the foreseeable future.  Its recovery may only be possible if and when mortgage lending frees up or as investors start to see potential in the local private rental sector.”

This report very much coincides with my feelings in respect of the Scottish property market in general and the Dundee market in particular.  We are seeing good activity in the middle to top end of the market with listings being ahead of targets.  I am anticipating that sales will follow this trend, however, the lack of first time buyers is holding back the bottom end of the market with again the lack of first time buyers causing the major problems.  Readers of previous blogs will know my thoughts regarding the problems that first time buyers face and the knock on effect this has on the market. Interestingly, I was reading a report regarding the Welsh property market which has now seen first time buyers dropping below 20%.  This is the area that must be tackled.  A recent ARLA report predicts a trend away from owner occupier from 70% to 60% and is also predicting a drop in the registered social landlord i.e. council housing and housing association with the big growth coming in the private rental market.  This would certainly be a big social and economic shift and I will issue a blog on this topic shortly.

In the meantime prices for medium to top end properties are starting to slowly increase with prices for traditional first time buyer properties at best holding value.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property Services

Blackadders’ 3rd Annual Property Sale

Blackadders annual property saleI am delighted to advise that our 3rd Annual Property Sale is now bigger and better than ever with 57 properties taking part and with savings of up to £50,000 from Home Report valuations.

I think this initiative shows prospective purchasers the possible bargains that are out there and the fact that it is a great time to be buying.  It also shows our innovative  and pro-active approach to selling properties.

Should you require further information then please do not hesitate to contact either myself or a member of the Blackadders Property Services Team.

Click here to view the properties taking part in this sale.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property Services

V & A Dundee receives £4.8 million pledge

Image: Design Dundee Ltd/PA

I was delighted to read in the Dundee Courier about the £4.8 million pledge received from the Scottish Government.  This would appear to be a key piece of the jigsaw and a catalyst for taking the V & A in Dundee to the next stage.

As readers of previous posts will know (14 October 2010), I think the importance of the V & A to the Scottish economy in general and Dundee economy in particular will be huge, and that the venue will go a long way to enhancing Dundee’s reputation as a leading UK city.  The knock-on effect for the property market will be more visitors, more purchasers, more people realising the huge untapped potential of Dundee.

I would urge everyone to support the V & A project and work together to ensure that it happens.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property Services

Encouraging signs for property investors

Readers of previous blogs will know that I have been closely monitoring the increase in rental returns across Scotland,  in particular Dundee, and I would advise that this trend shows no sign of abating.

With the property market currently showing subdued activity levels due to mortgage pressures (and also the weather), there has never been a better time for someone interested in property to invest in the property market.

The caveat to this is that it is very important that you take advice from solicitors experienced in property investment.  I would be more than happy to have an initial no cost meeting with you to discuss the various options available to you.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property Services
T: 01382 229222
E: lindsay.darroch@blackadders.co.uk

Property repossession numbers continue to fall

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) have reported that there were 8,900 homes repossessed in the three months to October, which was a drop of 5% compared with the previous quarter.  This is the fourth quarter in a row that numbers have dropped since they reached a peak of 12,200.  The CML have warned that the trend of falling repossessions could reverse.

I was recently at an insolvency conference and one of the topics discussed was that there had not been the explosion of repossessions in either residential or development property that was initially expected.  I think this is down to a number of reasons but the main one is that the historic low levels of interest rates means that borrowing for both individuals and businesses is affordable. From my discussions with various lenders, I think they are taking a more pragmatic view of what is the point of repossessing or taking over a development site if there is little or no chance of selling this on in the open market?

I think this flags potential problems when the economy starts to improve. As interest rates rise, this could make mortgage payment unaffordable, increasing the number of people who fall into arrears. As the property market picks up, I think lenders will be more inclined to repossess or take over development sites as they realise they have more of a chance of selling them on. I also know that a number of the large banks have set up their own holding companies and have transferred ownership of a number of development sites to these holding companies waiting for market recovery.  This is something that I will continue to monitor as it is likely to have a knock-on effect to at least the short to medium term house prices.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property Services