Preparing for turbulent times ahead

Simon Jackson

November 7, 2019

Simon Jackson (pictured) is managing director at SDL Surveying

As the country holds its breath, waiting to see what will happen post-Brexit (if indeed it happens at all), we can only speculate on what is in store for the property market in the coming months.

For the time being at least, unprecedented political instability does not seem to have shaken buyer or lender confidence too much.

Recent figures show that gross mortgage lending for residential was actually 3.7% higher in September compared to the same month last year, suggesting that people are getting on with life.

Even so, it is difficult to ignore reports of sluggish growth in London, or KPMG’s warning that house prices could plummet by as much as 10 to 20% in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

Valuation surveyors are clearly going to have their work cut out for them – and it’s essential they have the mechanisms in place to be as flexible and efficient as possible.

Having a robust model – one that can cope with price fluctuations, no matter how dramatic they could be, will enable surveyors to continue to deliver reports quickly and accurately, meeting lenders and consumers’ expectations during these uncertain times.

Weathering any potential challenges demands continual investment in both people and proptech, leveraging the skills of surveyors and equipping them with the right tools for the job – from iPad apps to desktop valuations for standard property types.

The innovation created within this sector over the last few years has significantly sped up the process by reducing admin and travelling time, in addition to limiting the chance of human error and problems associated with poor photographs and handwriting.

Ensuring every valuation is consistent will be as important as ever, to provide lenders and buyers with more confidence in their decision-making. This is bolstered by the fact that should work volumes increase it will allow us to reduce patch sizes further – so you’re more likely to get a surveyor who knows the local area extremely well.

As unprecedented as Brexit might be, the UK property market has survived blips and crashes in the past.

Whilst we are unable to control macro-economic events, we can at least have confidence in our surveyors to navigate what could be a volatile market.

Should we see a recession, surveying technology has improved significantly since the last one in 2008 and deployed well, could help to satisfy even the most cautious lender.

Whatever happens, strengthening relationships with banks and building societies, by delivering the highest standard of service, has never been more crucial for surveyors.

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