An essential part of the underwriting process which perhaps does not get the credit it deserves is the role of surveyors.
The average age of a surveyor is over 50. This is worrying as it will have a significant impact on the future of the industry. While there is a drive to get new blood into the industry, the number of surveyors is dwindling.
The perception of surveyors’ role has been less than favourable over the past few years, particularly after the credit crunch. It is a misconception that their job is simply to arrive at a correct valuation – it is more complex.
For both borrowers and lenders’ underwriting teams, the advice of surveyors is essential in the buy-to-let application process.
Information provided confirms whether or not a property purchase or remortgage proposition can generate a sustainable rental income that will underpin the loan.
Ensuring compliance with all relevant legislation is also a key part of the surveyor’s assessment.
The work surveyors do adds value to the lending process, particularly in buy-to-let.
Surveyors in this market see more variety in the properties they visit, from single to multi-unit blocks. A range of valuation methodology is applied to arrive at a correct valuation, and this specialist knowledge is valuable.
With growing demand on surveyors’ services, my concern is that this important resource will become limited if we do not see an influx of new surveyors.