Delivering accurate valuations in a challenging house market

First published by Mortgage Solutions

Areas of sluggish price growth

For a broker, it is always disappointing to see a client’s home purchase derailed because of a down-valuation, though it is easy to see why surveyors might be prudent in the current climate.

Reports of sluggish price growth in parts of the UK and fears of an impending post-Brexit housing crash are hardly likely to inspire optimism. No surveyor wants to be sued for over-valuing a property.

However, I’m confident that our industry has the tools and data available to deliver accurate and consistent valuations even during turbulent times.

Evolving practices to keep up with the times

Desktop valuations are fast becoming the norm, but that doesn’t mean surveyors have become complacent. Any reputable professional will be Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICs)-accredited and, importantly, will have the technical skills to value non-standard house types and to react to changes in the market.

Rather than replacing skilled surveyors, technology has paved the way for them to do their job quickly and effectively.

Drawing on data from a growing number of sources and eliminating problems such as illegible handwriting, we’ve seen the valuation process become more standardised in recent years. This provides greater reassurances to lenders, brokers and buyers.

It is thanks to technology that we are able to increase our volumes and therefore reduce patch sizes, so surveyors are working in areas where they have strong knowledge of local areas and house types, including their quirks.

An unpredictable yet resilient housing market

Nobody can predict how the UK property market will respond to political and economic events. But those who have been in the industry for many years know that people still want to buy houses and banks want to lend.

Whether or not mortgage providers will become more cautious in the coming months and years remains to be seen. But they will need to leverage the expertise of surveyors more than ever in their decision-making.

Simon Jackson is managing director at SDL Surveying



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  • Avatar Hannah Smith ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    I had a surveyor do a valuation at my property yesterday for my buyer. The surveyor … read more was professional, friendly and very polite. I was extremely anxious after reading all the negative reviews that my house would be down valued, but alas no! My buyers have paid over the asking price for my house and the surveyor has valued it at the exact same amount. I'm so pleased and grateful for SDL.
    Thank you.
  • Avatar Karen Howells-Lee ★★★★★ a year ago
    Great service from this company. Arranged by my lender, SDL rang to book an appointment … read more very quickly. Then rang back to offer an earlier slot. Paul rang 30 mins before arriving as promised. He was extremely pleasant, helpful and thorough. No complaint from us at all.
  • Avatar Greg Gibson ★★★★★ a year ago
    The surveyor who attended was extremely professional, showing covid awareness and … read more politeness from the very start. He was informative, engaging and made what could have been a strictly procedural meeting, a more personable and enjoyable one. We shared good conversation and SDL should be made aware that this surveyor represents the company in an excellent way. Would definitely recommend their services as a result