View more on these topics

Countrywide Surveying Services takes on 60 trainee surveyors

Countrywide Surveying Services has recruited 60 new trainee surveyors weeks after launching its new training scheme.

The firm plans to take on another 30 applicants in January 2014, taking the total to 90.

After completing their training, which will take between six and eight months, trainees will then be eligible for associate membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Applicants must have fours years residential property experience or be degree qualified and have worked in the property industry for two years.

Countrywide Surveying Services managing director Paul Chapman says: “It is clear from the huge response we received for a place on our programme that there is high demand for jobs and careers in the residential surveying industry.

“Encouraging new blood into the surveying profession is key to unlocking the surveyor capacity issue and we are pleased to be at the forefront of recruiting, training and developing talented individuals who are keen to develop a career as a professional surveyor.”

The new recruits have come on board at a time when the surveying sector has been dogged by huge service delays – the extent of which was revealed by Mortgage Strategy – with some firms having to turn away business.

In June Mortgage Strategy mystery shopped three of the UK’s biggest valuation firms to investigate complaints from brokers who were experiencing major delays instructing valuers in London.

Posing as a borrower, Mortgage Strategy contacted three surveyors – Colleys, e.surv and Connells – to ask how long it would take to get a homebuyer report and, separately, a less detailed valuation done on a property in SW15, with a mortgage from Halifax. Countrywide were unavailable at the time.

Connells and e.surv revealed that they were currently “on hold” in SW15, meaning they were not accepting new instructions. A customer service representative for Colleys revealed that it was booked up until the first week of July and then its surveyor was off for two weeks, so it was not available until the 22 July.

In the main brokers blamed the delays on a lack of valuers. But RICS hit back and argued that there were enough valuers but because lenders were “squeezing” fees valuers were turning down unprofitable work. The body also blamed high professional indemnity insurance premiums as a result of “unsubstantiated” negligence claims from lenders.

In terms of valuer numbers there are currently 8,500 residential valuers registered, of which 5,500 list residential valuation as their primary activity, and around 2,000 of which work for the largest 20 firms in the UK.

Mortgage Strategy subsequently revealed RICS planned to launch an independent commission to determine the cause of the delays, the findings of which will be published in November.


Farage says wrest control from EU

Ukip leader Nigel Farage says the UK must take back control of its financial services industry from the EU. In his speech to the Ukip annual conference in London last week, Farage called for the UK to leave the EU to stop the “shower of directives” from Brussels. European commissioner for internal markets Michel Barnier […]


Happy Money by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton

From a young age stories like King Midas, Faust and Ebenezer Scrooge drum into us the message that the one thing lots of money does not bring is happiness. It might make you powerful, give you a home filled with lots of nice things, even find you a beautiful wife or husband, but it doesn’t […]

MPC votes for no change to base rate or QE

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to keep base rate at a record-low 0.5 per cent and the Bank’s programme of quantitative easing at £375bn. None of the committee members thought it appropriate to tighten the stance of monetary policy at this time, as none of the knockout conditions that would invalidate […]

US: mid-year review and outlook

By Felix Wintle, Manager of the Neptune US Opportunities Fund H1 2014 Economic data: after last year’s strength, economic data has disappointed. Indeed, the economy contracted 2.9 per cent in the first three months of the year — the US economy’s worst performance for five years. However, rather than a symptom of underlying economic weakness or […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up