View more on these topics

e.surv dismisses accusations of dubious valuations

e.surv chartered surveyors has hit back at the suggestions that dubious valuations of new properties are becoming endemic within the new build buy-to-let sector of the industry.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv, says: e.surv is the largest supplier of mortgage valuations in the UK and our primary obligation is to provide a valuation against which a lender can make an informed lending decision.

“The information relating to every e.surv valuation remains on file for a minimum of 15 years and is subject to audit by clients on a regular, open basis.

In respect of buy-to-let cases, Sexton acknowledges a growing problem with the average size of builders incentives – which can make arriving at the correct valuation figure more difficult.

He points out that there is a related, and perhaps more troubling, development, which is the apparent attempt to disguise the presence of these incentives by some parties until just prior to completion, if at all.

The result being that the lender has very little time to revert to the valuer in order to establish whether or not the incentive impacts on actual valuation.

Sexton adds: Valuations are made based on the information made available, or identified by the valuer following research- therefore there is clearly an issue if there are deliberate attempts to mislead, or outright fraud. Of particular concern is the use of post completion rebates.

e.surv is fully aware of the phenomenon of incentives, and has brought this issue to the attention of its individual lender clients regularly over the past year, and will continue to work with them to minimise their individual risks. Critically, in order for lenders to achieve comfort in this area, our advice is that they must also consider the profile and quality of the specific valuation firms that they employ.

There have been several valuation management firms enter the market in recent months, encouraged by the potential opportunities of Home Information Packs.

“These organisations, to a greater or lesser extent, have made it clear that they assume no responsibility for the valuation reports they commission on behalf of the lender.

“A worst case scenario for lenders who use these organisations could be that they find themselves in a situation similar to that of the late 80s and early 90s, when the industry experienced a significant number of valuation issues, which were at least in part exacerbated by reliance on broad panels without appropriate levels of control and accountability.


IFAP welcomes NatWest sponsorship

IFA Promotion welcomes NatWest Business Bankings announcement that it is to become its latest sponsor, demonstrating further lender support for the IFA sector. The commercial lending arm of NatWest becomes IFAPs 32nd sponsor and its fifth mortgage sponsor. Alastair Hutt, head of introducer development for NatWest Business Banking, says: We recognise the importance of firms […]

Consumers warned over mortgage arrangement fees

Rachel McKay, mortgage analyst from, is warning consumers of percentage based mortgage arrangement fees and the shift towards these being charged as a percentage of the mortgage advance.McKay says: Generally, the mortgage arrangement fee pays for the time and administration costs for the credit score; assessment of application and personal details to ascertain whether […]

Survey reveals rental divide

A survey of English housing trends shows that while private renterspay on average twice as much rent as social renters, they earn more than twice as much. London has the highest average private rents – around 189 per week – while the North-East has the lowest rent levels at 72 per week. The private rented […]

Tackling the housing crisis will take more than money

The latest housebuilding figures from the Department for Communities & Local Government confirm the worst fears of many within the property industry. We are failing to address the housing shortage in any meaningful way. Let’s look at the number of housing ‘starts’, new housing projects where work has begun. In England, work has been started […]

Johnson Fleming is a finalist at UK Pensions Awards 2016

The UK Pensions Awards shine the light on excellence and recognise the advisers, providers and investment managers that offer the highest level of innovation, performance and service to occupational pension schemes and their members. This year’s awards looked at advisers and providers across 31 different categories and were rigorously judged by a panel of senior […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up