OneSearch Direct acquires Surveys Online

Amanda Jarvis

November 12, 2004

With Royal Assent for compulsory Home Information Packs (HIPs) anticipated in the Queen’s Speech on 26 November, OneSearch Direct’s new acquisition will enable it to offer a wholly owned and fully electronic Home Information Pack (HIP) in the future – the first from a local search provider.
Surveys Online took part in the Scottish Executive-backed ‘single survey’ pilot study, an initiative to reduce duplicate surveys and benefit home movers, and another pilot in Kent. Since 1999 the company has provided single surveys, also known as ‘pre-sale surveys’ and ‘condition reports’. These provide in-depth information about properties to all interested parties upfront and are designed to pre-empt the difficulties sometimes encountered in the later stages of transactions.
Surveys Online has already invested £2.75m in its unique software and business process to deliver fully guaranteed surveys and valuations.
Ronnie Park, Managing Director of OneSearch Direct, comments: “Change in the form of compulsory HIP legislation may come soon. Through this acquisition OneSearch Direct will be ready to provide a cost-and time-effective HIP solution to a variety of clients, both large and small, through technology which is already running and proven. This will enable clients to provide low cost or ‘no cost to the seller’ HIPs.”
Backed by 3i and HBOS, OneSearch Direct has been active in England for three years where it is the fastest growing private search company.  It has modeled its business on 13 years’ experience in Scotland, where the company enjoys a 40% market share and operates under the name SPH Limited. The company is anticipating a turnover in excess of £11m this year. 
OneSearch Direct is hosting its second annual roundtable on HIPs in London later this month. Guests include representatives of Government, law firms, estate agencies, mortgage lenders and trade bodies.

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