London based mortgage broker, Springtide Capital has recently noted a significant delay in the length of time required to book homebuyer surveys. Just 6-12 months ago, the average time taken to book a survey was 3 days, which has now increased to an average time of 7 days and can take even up to 2 to 3 weeks, according to the broker.
Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) indicate that the number of mortgage approvals for purchases has now increased to 30,313 compared with 28,323 six months ago. However, according to E.Surv Chartered Surveyors, the current number of surveyors nationwide is between 1,500 and 2,000. This is significantly less than the 7,000 who were registered in 2007. These figures indicate that surveyors are now significantly busier than before with their number depleted and the level of housing transactions at a new high. Henry Knight, Managing Director of Springtide Capital cites this as the cause of the current delays.
‘As a broker, it is frustrating when approvals are delayed as a result of the length of time it is now taking to organise surveys. The housing market in general is showing strong signs of improvement at present and therefore surveyors are naturally busier, though greater effort needs to be made on behalf of the whole industry to ensure that transaction times are shortened and the process is as efficient and stress free as possible.’