Monday, 18 April 2016

Transcript of BBC Radio Scotland interview

Link to full interview via BBC iplayer here:

Previous interview was Graham Brown of Shelter Scotland, interviewed by Isobel Fraser.

Bill Whiteford from BBC interviewing Neil Livingstone, Douglas Dickson Property Management

[From 01:15:54]

Bill Whiteford: “Well, listening to that is Neil Livingstone, director of letting agents Douglas Dickson Property management, based in Glasgow. Morning to you.”

Neil Livingston: “Good morning”

BW: “It’s interesting, isn’t it? We’ve seen actually a change, almost by default, in the sort of mix in housing in Scotland haven’t we? Away from council housing and even owned property, to this sort of private letting, which is taking over.”

NL: “Well, I think the increasing numbers of private landlords who have moved into the market, certainly over the past ten years, is probably a direct response to many, many years, in my view, of underinvestment in social housing, in one aspect. And, secondly, since the financial crisis in 2009, it certainly has been a lot harder for for tenants...”

BW: {Interrupting} “it’s been difficult to buy, for first time buyers.”

NL: “Yes, a lot harder for them to access finance. So you’ve had these two factors of years and years of lack of investment in social housing, and secondly shortage of supply in building of new properties.”

BW: “There’s certainly a shortage of supply of houses all round.  So that’s social housing to let, and also for people to buy. Where have the buy to let landlords come from. Why the sudden boom in people who own just one, or just one or two flats, say?”

NL: “Well, certainly, from our perspective, we still see the buy to let sector as an attractive investment opportunity for landlords, and they’re coming into the market to really provide a service, and in our experience, most landlords, and certainly all the landlords we represent, and good quality letting agents represent are providing a good quality service to tenants. So they’re coming in because there’s an economic incentive to be there. There’s a marked economic drive, when you’re getting one percent, barely one percent return in bank interest for your money, and you’ve got cash sitting there, the private rented sector is still a relatively attractive opportunity.”

BW: “I’m sure there are some great landlords, but it does look as if some are racking up the rents. 7.3% higher here?”

NL: “I would dispute those figures. Certainly from our experience managing the landlords that we represent. Most...All landlords from our experience want to retain their tenants. If you’ve got a good tenant, you want to keep your tenant in there. If you think that they’re sitting in, probably one of your largest investments, you want somebody who’s going to be in there, looking after it. So actually most, many, landlords don’t increase rents while they have a tenant in there, and most others tend to be very modest increase. The evidence that certainly we have, from our portfolio that we manage it’s certainly modest increases, and I’m talking particularly for the Glasgow market, that’s where we’re in. Just to quote you some other statistics that I’ve come across, the Office for national Statistics recently quoted that rental prices in England increased by 2.8% in the last twelve months, and in Scotland it was 0.7%. And this would also be backed up by LettingWeb, who are an online letting agency/portal acting in Scotland, and their recent quarterly report, is up to the winter quarter of 2016; is that one bedroom flats in Glasgow have only increased 2% over the past twelve months, so after our variations, actually the evidence that we have is that it’s more modest, and there has been...

BW: {Interrupting} “It’s still more than inflation. So what is the average rental cost per month? It’s something about seven hundred pounds, seven hundred and fifty pounds a month?”

NL: “Certainly for the...I’ve got the figures for the one bed properties in Glasgow areas, it’s about five hundred and eleven pounds and two beds are closer to six hundred and fifty pounds.”

BW: “Ultimately, do you think we’ll be faced with the sort of rents that there are in London where there’s a chronic property shortage. I see that the average rent on a new tenancy is fifteen hundred pounds.”

NL: “I don’t see that in the Glasgow market and the Scottish market. I think we don’t have...It comes down, ultimately, to supply and demand issues and we’re not seeing the same levels of house price growth that you see in the south of England as well, whereas there’s been more modest house price growth in Scotland as well, which would suggest there is more of an equilibrium of supply and demand and, in the medium to long terms, the solution to all these problems is; build more houses. Planners should be releasing more land to build houses on.”

BW: “Okay. Neil Livingston from Douglas Dickson property management, thanks very much.”


No comments:

Post a Comment