In 1973 Shemish and Patrick Teague left Scotland for the bright lights of London to found their own building firm. After initial success, they fell victim to the recession and returned to Edinburgh. Undaunted, they joined forces with younger brothers Gerald and Daniel, and founded Teague Homes in 1981. They were soon joined by a fifth brother, Shawn, and set about entering the Edinburgh housing market. Their first job was the conversion of a terraced property into four flats, with an initial investment of £60,000 reaping a £350,000 reward, most of it profit. The company began to concentrate on former industrial sites and now builds around 200 properties a year. It is also developing 82 flats overlooking Holyrood Palace, the site of the Scottish Parliament. “We bought the land in the early-1990s, when there was no talk of a Scottish Parliament, and now we’ve had 900 enquiries from all over the world,” says Shemish Teague. The apartments are expected to fetch £500,000 each, compared with Teague’s average selling price of £130,000. Such projects have driven up profits 29% a year, from £3.6m in 1997 to £7.7m in 2000, when sales reached £18.2m. All five brothers are still closely involved in the day-to-day running of the business.
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