e.surv recruits 53 surveyors to combat valuation delays crisis

Chartered surveyors e.surv has added 53 new building surveying graduates to its workforce at a time when a lack of valuers has been blamed for massive delays in the house buying process.

Sexton: ‘This is our response to ensure clients’ needs are met’

The graduates were selected following recent recruitment days in Manchester, London, Belfast and Birmingham.

The first group of 23 graduates have already joined the firm with a further 30 joining in October. They will no undertake a year-long development programme with a subsequent placement as a qualified valuer for successful candidates.

All 53 will received a Mini Cooper as part of their remuneration package, which will be used in their roles to support e.surv’s surveying workforce.

E.surv business development director Richard Sexton says: “E.surv manages more valuation work in the UK than any other surveyors, and we’ve seen a huge pick-up in activity this year.

Bringing more grads on-board is part of our response to ensuring our clients’ needs are met. We’re looking forward to training the next generation of valuers, and injecting fresh blood into the surveying industry.”

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors global residential director Peter Bolton King says: “e.surv are fostering the next generation of surveying talent, and there is a real atmosphere of excitement in the industry.

Activity is picking up, and the market is beginning to return to good health. The industry has been squeezed in recent years, but this goes to show that the energy to expand is still there.”

The news comes at a time when the mortgage industry has pointed to a lack of qualified surveyors as the main reason why there are currently massive delays in arranging a valuation, therefore causing huge delays in the house buying process.

Mortgage Strategy was the first to reveal the true extent of the valuations crisis.

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.

Connells and e.surv revealed that they were “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 recent weeks brokers and lenders have told Mortgage Strategy they are still seeing delays in arranging a valuation.

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.