Kevin qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1990 and is an RICS Registered Valuer specialising in residential property, predominantly in the Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire. Kevin provides Home Reports, Surveys, Valuations and Property Advice to a wide range of Private Clients, Solicitors, Estate Agents and Mortgage Lenders.
A Peebles Perspective on following Government Guidelines
As a Chartered Surveyor for well over 30 years I must admit, I didn’t see this one coming.
Nothing before, in my lifetime, has had such a dramatic and instant impact, not only to the property market, but to the very way we all live our lives.
Allied Surveyors Scotland took the decision early on to act in a responsible manner and avoid any unnecessary contact or travel. Furthermore, we have taken the advice of the Scottish Government to “Stay at Home”, as an unequivocal instruction and over the course of the current lockdown, we have not attended any properties, whether vacant or not, to carry out inspections.
We are very clear that the health and wellbeing of our surveyors, staff and the wider public, must take priority.
Some other firms may have suggested that the Government guidance is optional or open to interpretation. We do not. We are working on a reduced staff, from home, to provide as much help and as many services as we can to all our valued customers
Whilst it may be worrying, frustrating and let’s face it, financially difficult, to be largely unable to carry out our work, we must try to see beyond our own personal circumstances and look to the greater good.
If we all follow the guidelines, the spread of COVID 19 will significantly slow down, the NHS will be able to cope better and some restrictions can be lifted, sooner rather than later.
And what of the property market?
Whilst the impact has been immediate, with vendors unable to show prospective purchasers around their homes, it is impossible to say with any great confidence, what the longer terms effects will be on the residential market.
We are already seeing some innovative measures being used, such as virtual property tours being used to market houses. Indeed, I have heard feedback from estate agents indicating that they have received offers and notes of interest on houses, where there have been no physical viewings.
I am based in the Scottish Borders and the market prior to the lockdown had been very encouraging, with strong demand coupled with a lack of supply at the middle and lower end of the market leading to rising house prices.
Given that many prospective vendors have been unable to obtain Home Reports in this period and, therefore, have been unable to legally market their houses, I am reasonably optimistic that this “stall” in the property market will be just that and the additional lack of supply will allow the market recover again quickly, without the significant drop in prices we saw during the last recession.