Rainfords Chartered Surveyors - Surveying homes across Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales
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Transaction levels hold up as more houses come onto the market

RICS December 2011 UK Housing Market Survey
 
Sales activity remained relatively firm during December and an increasing amount of new stock came onto the housing market, says the latestRICS UK Housing Market survey(09 January 2012).
 
The average number of completed sales per surveyor* in the three months to December was 15.2. While slightly down on November’s figure, this remains close to its best level since autumn 2010. However, sales expectations for the coming three months dipped to a net balance of 0% (from +4%).

Property Prices in England and Wales continue to fall

Land Registry’s Property Prices in England and Wales

The Average Price of a property in England and Wales is now £159,999 as at the end of October 2011.

The Monthly change in October in England and Wales was a reduction of 0.9%.

The Annual change to October in England and Wales was a reduction of 3.2%.

Source: Land Registry

RICS reminds buyers of the importance of a home survey

For many people, buying a home is one of the biggest decisions they will ever make. However, by failing to commission a survey before purchase, homebuyers across England and Wales* are risking potential bills running into thousands of pounds.
 
According to RICS research, a quarter of all homebuyers who fail to have a survey are forced to make unplanned building works to their property after purchase. The average bill for these works, such as damp proofing or repairing a roof, is over £1,800 – but the cost can be much higher.

A mortgage valuation for is not a survey - buyers should be warned says RSPA

Mortgage Finance Gazette (MFG) has reported that the Council of the residential Property Surveyors Association (RSPA) has written to Hector Sants, chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, calling for an investigation into the advice mortgage lenders give their borrowers regarding valuations and surveys.
 
MFG state that in the letter the RSPA asks that the FSA takes urgent action to ensure that lenders take more responsibility to inform borrowers that the valuation carried out is on behalf of the lender, and is not a survey.

Mortgage Valuation fails to spot serious defects

In December 2011 I was asked to undertake a survey on a 3 storey Victorian end terraced house.
 
Homebuyer survey, House survey, survey, Building (Structural) Survey, Survey on house, RICS Condition report, Rainfords Chartered Surveyors & Valuers, Chester, Liverpool, Wirral, The Wirral, Buying a house
 
Despite previous and extensive structural repairs and extensions the property had cracking and distortion to the brick work in the front bay area. Cracks around recently installed window frames raised suspicion that the movement was recent. The vendor had extensive documentation including a structural engineers completion certificate from when they purchased the property only 10 years earlier.

Why have a survey?

Surveys are a kind of 'health check' for buildings. If you're buying a property, you should have a survey done before you enter into a contract.
 
A survey can actually save you money.
 
If there are serious structural problems, you can often re-negotiate the purchase price of the property to reflect the cost of necessary repairs - or you may even decide you don't want to buy it at all.
 
If you're about to buy a property, you may have specific worries about the building you're going to buy.
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