Analysis: Private surveys will fill a need

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Delays in lending approvals are unhealthy for the industry and we support initiatives to speed up the process. But it is important that customers understand the quality of the property they are buying.

As Mortgage Strategy revealed last week, some lenders are returning to automated valuation reports in certain circumstances. This follows an announcement by Barclays earlier this year that it will no longer offer scheme 2 homebuyer reports and scheme 3 building surveys on residential instructions.

Automated valuations will no doubt speed up approvals but they are not comprehensive and may leave buyers exposed. With no visit made to the property, no account is taken of the building’s condition. If defects were discovered in the future, homebuyers would have to pay for the repairs.

Given this move by lenders, we expect more people to undertake private surveys. Mortgage brokers, therefore, can add value by recommending either a homebuyer report or a building survey. 

Furthermore, commissioning a private survey will not hold up the mortgage application process because it is independent of the lender. So seize the moment…