I was very interested to read an article by Professor Stewart Brymer on the future of property factoring. This is something that I think is very important for improving the quality of flat dwellers lives in relation to less stress regarding common repairs and also the maintenance of common parts such as roof stairwell etc. This would also go a long way to assist in relation to the maintenance and improvement of the tenemental housing stock. I think there is scope for the Scottish Government to legislate and to formalise factoring and I think that local authorities should consider making factoring compulsory where a property owner has applied for a grant or perhaps where a block contains an HMO. I also think lenders and surveyors should also encourage owners of flatted/tenemental properties to be involved in a factoring scheme as it would surely protect and enhance the value of the asset. This would be a low cost way for the Scottish Government to assist in relation to the maintenance of the housing stock and also go a long way to improving the quality of life of flat owners.
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.
Following my recent blog regarding breaking up the Banks, George Osborne has announced he will increase the Banks’ Tax – raising an extra £800m for the Exchequer. This makes good headlines and also appears to be a good political move in light of expected Bank announcements regarding bonuses. Taking more money away from the Banks, however, while trying to encourage them to increase lending appears to me to be two actions which are at odds with each other. At the moment the Banks are unsure of the housing market hence their reluctance to lend which is increasing the uncertainty and has the property market locked into a downward spiral. The only way to break this spiral is with Government intervention and I would urge the Chancellor to use the extra £800m he has raised from the Banks to create a first time buyer guarantee fund. This would help first time buyers back into the property market which would help stabilise the property market, increasing the Banks’ confidence and thus increasing the amount that they are prepared to lend by way of mortgage finance.
ps Since writing this blog the Scottish Government have announced their plans to help First time buyers. Whilst I welcome any initiative in this area I don’t think the proposals are enough to really help the market I will revisit the issue of First time buyers shortly