We've decided for our 3rd interview it would be great to get a local view point on the property market of Hull, who better to ask than local property investor and developer Aaron Sutherland? He's what he had to say....
Can you tell us about yourself and how you got into your current role and what you like about your job?
My name is Aaron Sutherland, 29 (soon). So I suppose it stems back to the last recession really. I was doing my apprenticeship in bricklaying when the recession hit, which left me without a job. I was actually told by college to stop going in as no one was paying for my course! Anyways I got a job with a company who did alterations, new bathrooms, conversions of barns and general building really. Learnt a lot there, and after a couple of years went on to start my own business doing the same. But something twigged where I was getting paid to do the work for people (investors), yet they were still making more money that there were paying me. So after some time I became the investor and still the builder also, like getting paid twice really. Here I am today and what I really like about it is the transformation! What I love the most is the reaction I get when the agents come back in and see the finished product! Somehow I can walk into somewhere and picture it in it’s finished product!
What is that your company currently does and what sets them apart from their competitors?
So we buy properties and land. We renovate properties and sell them back on and, we look to build on the land. We are also building our investor base as we’re starting to source and move on what don’t fit our strategies. But our finished product doesn’t look like your generic one what others do. We don’t use white or magnolia paint on walls! In our last renovation we actually had a Matt black kitchen, black oak floors and pink walls. We like a better visual finished product, nothing is rushed. We also document everything and show the process on our social media platforms, for everyone to see.
How has Covid-19 affected the company?
Well it’s certainly made some things more difficult. We had a spout where materials were really sparce, we were relying on relationships we have to get a hold of certain things to get things finished. Obviously made things longer to finish, which means takes longer to get paid. But we’re still here and still going strong, in fact relationships made in this time will be better for the future to come. Always a silver lining! Of course we try to help others in the industry where we can or would, just have to give us a shout.
What would you say your local property market is like at the moment?
Manic! Prices are inflated due to the demand at the moment, people are paying them too. Everything is flying out just as fast as it’s coming in. Deals are harder to come by but, it’s helped when we sold our last. It went for more than we planned so can’t complain too much.
Can anything be done to help the property sector at this moment in time?
In terms of help in this moment I think the banks need to sort out this deposit problem. First time buyers are shook from the availability of mortgage products, basically it’s 15% deposit, unless you fit the tight criteria for the other products. The stamp duty holiday can stay a while too, maybe even forever ha!
Do you think Covid-19 will have a lasting affect on the property market?
I suppose it all depends on the banks and what they choose to do. If the market doesn’t open up for first time buyers soon it could change things. I know people who are now renting because of the deposit scenario. No one really knows what’s going to happen to the prices. Some are saying Q1/Q2 there will be a drop, then some forecasts show no drop whatsoever. No body really knows.
Where do you see yourself and the company this time next year?
Thriving still! We’ve made some new relationships and a form of partnership this year, which should really open new doors for the next year. Obviously in my opinion (and others) continue to be the best in offering renovated properties to the market. We’d love to be really up there in terms of number of properties and land plots bought or sold to our investors, which we’ve now branched out to do. Recently we sourced on something over 3/4 of a million pounds, in this climate. So getting out of this who knows what’s next.
If you have your own questions for Aaron why not contact him at AWS Developments?