The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 16 April 2011

RICS reports high interest in Scottish property as spring arrives

THE Scottish property market saw an increase in homes going up for sale, more enquiries from interested buyers and an increase in agreed sales last month - says the latest RICS UK housing market survey.

Scotland was the area of the UK which saw the biggest increase in property going on the market in March, while some parts of the UK including London and Wales saw a drop.

[Pictured: RICS Scotland director Graeme Hartley.]

Scotland also had the biggest increase in inquiries from potential purchasers, while the north of England and Midlands saw a drop.

Just 4% of chartered surveyors in Scotland said house prices had fallen in March. 78% said they had stayed the same and 17% said they had risen. In London, 37% saw prices increase.

While caution about the overall outlook for the economy and the prospect of future interest rate hikes are compounding the difficulties over access to mortgage finance for many first-time buyers, this does not seem to be having as much impact on the Scottish property as other parts of the UK.

However chartered surveyors in Scotland are predicting that sales will remain pretty flat in the coming months or only rise modestly. They also report that the reluctance of vendors to further lower their price remains a stumbling block to some would-be buyers.

RICS Scotland director Graeme Hartley commented: “Scotland’s housing market is a very different picture to the rest of the UK, where many parts are suffering from a lack of buyers and sellers. Scotland is seeing a typical rise in buyers and sellers now that spring is here, but chartered surveyors are reporting that sales will remain flat or only rise modestly in coming months.”

RICS housing market survey is the longest running monthly survey of house prices in the UK, collecting data since January 1978. The survey is cited by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee at its monthly interest rate setting meetings.

About RICS Scotland

RICS Scotland is a national association of RICS. RICS Scotland has over 11,000 members.

Managed from its offices in Edinburgh, the focus of RICS Scotland is to develop, maintain, uphold and promote the standards, knowledge and skills of its members, always acting in the public interest.

RICS Scotland enjoys a degree of autonomy due to differences in Scottish law and practice. It holds a significant role within the professional and business community in Scotland, working with central and local government and educational institutions in Scotland.

Friday, 15 April 2011

TV Ayr Spice chef Mafiz Ali celebrates Bangladeshi New Year

Celebrity TV chef Mafiz Ali made two appearances on STV’s The Hour programme last week as a guest of regular presenters Stephen Jardine and Michelle McManus.

Mafiz, who is head chef and co-proprietor of Ayr Spice Indian Restaurant in Minishant, Ayrshire, demonstrated his skills in cooking two dishes, Chicken Korma and Curried Minced Beef with Spinach.

But this week Mafiz is back at work at Ayr Spice, preparing a special menu to celebrate Bangladeshi New Year, which falls this weekend.

Bangladeshi New Year Menu

Available Friday - Sunday 15 - 17 April.

Mafiz and Shahed and our staff welcome you to join us in celebrating the Bangladeshi New Year

On arrival papadoms and chutney will be served


Mixed platter or vegetarian mixed platter

Main courses

Deshi Kana (beef, lamb, chicken or fish)

Side dish

Deshi Shobji (mixed fresh vegetables)


Pilau or boiled rice (or Naan bread instead of rice)


Finni (rice pudding with cream)

Menu price: £17.50

There will be Bangladeshi background music and you are invited to dance.


Mafiz climbed the ladder to fame when he won a chef of the year award in 1998 and, almost immediately, added one for exceptional hygiene and cleanliness. Newly crowned at Westminster, he was commissioned by the then prime minister, John Major to supply a banquet for his 50th birthday at Number 10 Downing Street.

A replica banquet was then ordered by one of the distinguished guests and sent to New York city. Since then he has sent food elsewhere in the USA and to Japan and Australia in what must be an almost uniquely international takeaway service! He has also catered for numerous celebrities from the world of entertainment and some have vowed to come to his restaurant while they are in Scotland on tour.

It is not widely known that 92% of all “Indian” restaurants in the UK are in fact Bangladeshi, and it was to promote such eating houses and reward young chefs by recognising their talents, that Mafiz founded the “British Bangladeshi National Curry awards” at the Houses of Parliament at Westminster, also in 1998.

Mafiz Ali has been closely associated with charities, notably when he entered the Guinness Book of Records with 4.5 tons of chicken korma, which was then eaten at a charity event. Because of the enormous quantities involved he had to seek the advice of a professional engineer for the technical realisation of the project. His other charitable activities have included the Essex Air Ambulance Service and several children’s charities.

No stranger to TV, Mafiz has been invited to return to STV for further programmes in the future. These were his 68th and 69th appearances, Channel 4, Big Breakfast TV and several others including Bangladeshi TV on which he has his own programme, number among the other stations for whom he has appeared, and he has made double that number of radio broadcasts, as well as contributing to many publications including the Times and Daily Mirror.

Ayr Spice Indian Restaurant
The Old Minishant Memorial Church
22 Ayr Road
KA19 8EX

Tel: 01292 441413