This week we spoke to local property expert, Steven Currie – Director at Murray & Currie. We asked him how the property market is recovering from the recession and why Edinburgh is the ideal place to invest in property.
Tell use how the business started and your role at Murray & Currie:
Murray & Currie was set up by myself and my business partner, Richard Murray. We had been friends for only a couple of years but found when socialising and talking property we had many shared views and ambitions. In a period that was to become famous for one of the UK’s biggest property slumps (2008) many friends, family members and ex colleagues questioned our timing but we were confident that the timing was perfect. Sales were slow and people needed a plan B or a service to bridge the gap until the sales market was able to return to some level of stability.
What has helped drive the business forward ?
The letting side of our business has given us the perfect foundation to now really push on, with the strong development of our sales business which is growing from strength to strength on a weekly basis. I am not saying for a second that the residential sales market has bounced back to pre 2007 levels but it is certainly in a much healthier state.
What do you think of the current property market?
The desire to buy has always been there, it’s just the confidence that has been missing. That confidence amongst banks, vendors and purchasers is returning. While this is great for the market and Edinburgh, we have to be cautious as the elephant in the room that is interests rates can’t stay this low forever and we have to make sure we are all prepared and educated to stay strong, responsible and positive to keep the market healthy.
What do you love most about your job?
I love most of all giving good customer service and pleasing people by delivering successful results. Edinburgh is an amazing platform to showcase our skills and experience, and by carefully putting together a strong team of property professionals we believe a consistent and reliable service is our trademark which in turn allows us to keep ahead of the market in both sales and lettings.
What has been your career highlight so far?
Being a very positive, energetic, enthusiastic and ambitious individual my expectations are very high. While we have experienced many highs and many occasions where we have exceeded our client’s expectations I would say that my career high is yet to come. That may come across as a surprise to many as Murray & Currie are enjoying success in Asia, where we travel every quarter to put on exhibitions and seminars, and we have also opened an office in Aberdeen that is performing very well, plus we even have a sub-office in Richmond, London where we have started very strategically in penetrating the London market. So for many, each of the above would be a career high but, as well as ambition, I also have a strong grounding of never taking anything for granted and you have to keep working exceptionally hard.
The property market was hit badly by the recession, are things now looking brighter?
The property market was hit badly by the recession but we must ask was it banks, estate agents, developers, vendors and buyers simply not coming up for air? I am positive that if we all look back now we will all say ‘Crumbs we should have seen it coming’. Many have endured pain but interest rates being so low have saved so many. The positive things to come out of this experience are massive. So many now know so much more and are so much better educated about the huge responsibility of buying a property. It is our responsibility as an industry to ensure we don’t ever fall back into the same trap as before. I really believe in the quality and standard of estate agents in Edinburgh which allow people to buy and sell with confidence.
What makes Edinburgh such a good place to invest in property?
Edinburgh is a wonderful city. It’s iconic throughout the world, rich in history, architecture, buzzing with business, culture and education and truly an inspirational city to live in. The population continues to rise year on year and with its reputation growing by hosting events such as the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and international conferences, I firmly believe Edinburgh is prime for investment and to make home.