Warm welcome

A thriving organisation for property-related professionals in and around Portsmouth has welcomed its latest members.

Julie Mutton and Trevor Hayman, from the South Coast office of Smith & Williamson, the accountancy and investment management group, have signed up to Portsmouth Property Association (PPA).

Audit specialist Julie is a partner in the firm’s assurance and business services team and also a member of its property and construction group.

Trevor is an associate director, advising businesses of all sizes on the intricacies of tax planning.

Julie said: “The PPA promotes and maintains the highest professional ethics and integrity amongst its members and we look forward to being part of such a well-regarded and thriving organisation.”

Neil Hawkins, PPA secretary, said: “We extend a very warm welcome to Julie and Trevor from Smith & Williamson. We all look forward to sustained economic growth in 2014 and beyond.”

Smith & Williamson’s annual insight survey into the property market, based on feedback from nearly 500 commercial and residential property professionals, is likely to resonate with members of the PPA and the wider business community.

According to the survey, property professionals are more upbeat about the future, in stark contrast to post-2008 when sentiment was at a low ebb because of the UK’s prolonged economic difficulties.

Julie said: “There is a palpable sense of optimism about both the residential and commercial property sectors, with a generally positive outlook for the next five years.

“‘However, most respondents think it will still be two years before the real estate market returns to the pre-recession level of profitability.”

The PPA now has 144 members, including estate, lettings and property management agents, commercial property agents, chartered surveyors, accountants, solicitors and bankers.

It is chaired by Louisa Fairhall, who runs Gosport-based estate agency and lettings company Fairhalls.

PPA was established in 1920, when King George V reigned, Lloyd George was Prime Minister and the body of The Unknown Warrior from the First World War arrived from France for symbolic burial in Westminster Abbey.