"The lack of suitable and sufficient housing is also a problem that is continuing to dominate the market."
We spoke to Richard Sexton, Director of Business Development for e.surv, about the role of technology in surveying and the challenges stricter regulation is bringing to the sector.
FR: What do you believe the future holds for the valuation industry?
Ongoing capacity issues are likely to increase if overall lending grows. However, with more young blood entering through schemes like e.surv’s Graduate Residential Surveying Programme, this can be addressed over time.
We’re also likely to see data playing a larger role in surveyors’ work. Now more than ever, surveyors have access to huge amounts of data with the potential to deliver important insights, provided that the right technology is in place to analyse it. Tapping into this data and interpreting it alongside the industry’s traditional approach is likely to become the winning formula for the industry.
But technological innovation is undoubtedly the future of the profession. Like us, more surveyors are making the move to mobile and tablet-enabled surveying software, enhancing their ability to deliver an increasingly efficient service to clients and customers.
FR: What are the biggest issues facing the mortgage market in the current economic environment, and what should advisers be aware of when dealing with clients?
Ever-increasing regulation remains one of the biggest issues facing the market, as it can present a challenge for lenders and their suppliers. With stricter regulation coming into play in the New Year and harder stress tests, the market is already preparing for these challenges.
The lack of suitable and sufficient housing is also a problem that is continuing to dominate the market. However, the UK has made great advances in the production of off-site modular housing and modern methods of construction. Both have the potential to help alleviate the UK’s housing crisis, enabling homes to be built far more quickly and effectively. Developers need to engage with both lenders and surveyors in order to help them understand the benefits of lending on these types of constructions.
Advisers will also need to be aware of evolving, more sophisticated attempts at fraud. Valuers can actually play a key role in preventing this type of activity by reporting any suspicions at an early stage.
FR: Has e.surv got any big plans or exciting developments coming up over the next 12 months that you can tell us about?
e.surv is proud to be spearheading technological change in the valuation industry. Having completed a huge company-wide IT refresh in 2016, we’re now embedding the new technology and processes in our business-as-usual operation, and we will start delivering added-value features for our clients, particularly in the area of risk management.
FR: If there was one headline that you would like to see about the housing market in 2017, what would it be?
"Housing stock matches housing demand (finally!)"