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60 Seconds with….Tim Dawson

What are you doing at the moment?

I’m a non-executive director for the Mortgage Times Group and am working with some venture capitalist companies on start-ups. Other than that I like skiiing, sailing, generally relaxing and enjoying my retirement.

When did you last go skiing?

At the beginning of the year I went to Les Arcs 1950, which is on the edge of the Vanoise National Park in the Savoie region of France. It was more snowboarding than skiing though as I find that snowboarding is much more challenging and testing.

When do you see current market conditions improving?

I’d be surprised if we see much before Q3 and Q4 this year if not Q1 or Q2 next year.

Have you ever worked in market conditions that are worse than this?

This is the worst I’ve ever seen this market. The great years with sustainable growth were 2004 and 2005 while 2006 seemed OK. But when you look back it was in 2006 and 2007 that you could see the bubble growing and that’s when you got lenders doing silly things like lending people money that they knew they couldn’t afford to repay. There was plenty of that going on.

Does buy-to-let have a future?

Buy-to-let has a future – absolutely. It’s harder to get buy-to-let products now than it ever has been. I don’t think it will get any harder but it will be a long time before we go back to the days when you could get a buy-to-let property on 100% rental cover. That was stupid.

What’s next on the agenda?

I’m running the London Marathon with my daughter on April 26 and I’m hoping to complete the course in under five hours. We’re raising money for two causes: Zane, a charity which works within Zimbabwe to help alleviate the suffering of its people, and where I live in Shortlands, Kent, we need disabled toilet facilities at St Mary’s Church. You can sponsor me by visiting


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