We should do more to promote surveys

RICHARD SEXTON
RICHARD SEXTON DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP E.SURV

Left-field indicators on subjects such as loan performance, consumer confidence and economic recovery seldom make headlines.

I recall a lender once telling me that if it was allowed to it could accurately predict the likelihood of borrowers defaulting on their mortgages by analysing their shopping bills.

For example, a switch from shopping at Sainsbury to Lidl or even changing your brand of baked beans can signify looming arrears.

Perhaps we should be glad this isn’t standard practice.

At the other end of the scale a rise in the number of luxury car sales – as is apparently occurring – can indicate better times ahead.

It’s not unusual to get an expert to give your car a once-over before purchase at a cost of, say, £200. So why, when purchasing a property that usually costs more than a Lamborghini, do consumers still not bother with surveys? The more you think about it, the more illogical and risky this seems.

The surveying industry has probably not done enough to promote the benefits of private surveys but with a revamped and user-friendly Home

Buyer report now available and more bespoke products in the pipeline perhaps that is about to change.

Lenders and advisers are now more overtly recommending that applicants obtain their own reports but penetration remains low at around 15%.

The market is driving a 2CV on this issue – even an East European saloon would be an improvement.