Surveyor Shortages Are Endangering Market Recovery, Warns Lender...

Date Published 23 October 2013

Surveyor availability is rapidly worsening, and is posing a threat to the residential property market recovery.

The claim comes from Blemain Group, a specialist lender of mortgages, secured loans and bridging products.

Tracey Bailey, head of residential underwriting at Blemain Group, said: `The property market is poised for a strong and sustained recovery.

`However, the industry as whole, including surveyors and their insurers, must recognise the need to serve all parts of the market or this recovery could falter.

`Where surveys are delayed, there`s an increased chance of the loan application not proceeding and in some instance the series of chain events involved in the transaction collapsing entirely.

`It`s a real issue, as second charge and other specialist lenders are being impacted – in many cases to the same extent as the traditional first charge residential mortgage market.

`We`re hearing reports of customers losing the property the want to buy due to the extended period to obtain the survey.`

She said that surveys are being delayed and sometimes cancelled at short notice, causing knock-on delays in the underwriting process.

She said: `Checks and documents that are time sensitive often have to be redone as they have expired, leading to yet further delays.

`Also, if investors are looking to release equity from existing property to fund additional purchases, any delay will hamper these efforts and withhold much-needed liquidity from the market.`

According to the RICS, there are currently 8,500 residential valuers registered in the UK, of whom 5,500 list residential valuation as their primary activity, and around 2,000 of whom work for the largest 20 firms in the UK.