Surveyors face the Dickens of a future


As thoughts turn to mince pies, it’s quite possible the cold winds sweeping the country may actually stem from the collective sigh of relief as pressure on valuation capacity and timeframes reduce.

Equally, those sounds of thunder cracks may actually be valuers clapping themselves on the back that they have resolved the issue. 

Like Scrooge, the industry is now doing its best to forget the warnings of the Ghost of 2013 Capacity. I guess that makes me the Ghost of Future Capacity.  

It is true that turnaround times are returning to something close to normal and backlogs are reducing, but this is an illusion. 

It will be possible for stakeholders to remain in this comfort zone for approximately eight weeks before the reality of steep lending targets means the issue returns like a vengeful spirit.  

Surveyors are moving around the market but there is still little new blood.

When an employment market eases up,  it’s inevitable that a proportion of the workforce will be tempted to check out just how green that grass is over the road- and good luck to them. 

However, lender minimum requirements mean that those wanting to access the growing source of work will likely find aspects of any sustainable surveying practices very similar to the one they just left.

For surveyors, all that glisters is certainly not gold. I remember that the last time this occurred, in 2006/7.

New firms sprang up and did very well for a couple of years, before disappearing into professional indemnity black holes, leaving lenders, borrowers and former employed surveyors severely exposed to financial downside and unable to a buy a turkey between them. To that I say: “Bah, humbug!”