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Coronavirus Update 3

As we are now some weeks into the coronavirus lockdown, and the potential lifting of property market restrictions still some indeterminate time ahead, we feel it time to share a little of what we've seen happening in the surveying market over the last couple of months.

The new year started very full of promise, with trends very much on the up following the General Election. That continued until March when awareness that the new coronavirus was becoming not "just another sort of 'flu", but an imminent global health crisis.

As can be seen on the graph below, the first week of March was still 'business as usual', slowing somewhat into the second week. By the 3rd week (commencing 16th March), the public were clearly jittery and preempting the Government's lockdown announcement on 23rd, with search volumes for surveys on Google down by over 50%, continuing that steep downward path until the end of the month.

Google search queries march may 2020Source: Google

The first week of April saw search engine volumes down by some 85% on the equivalent week in March, matters also not helped by the long weekend of Easter 10th-13th April. Given that the country was in lockdown, and in theory everyone stuck indoors, it was surprising to see that the Easter bank holiday weekend still had some effect!

Since Easter, Google volumes have increased slightly week on week, to be back to about 25% of the pre-lockdown level.

Fortunately, the drop in Google search volumes hasn't fully translated to a similar drop in activity on our website, with leads over April at around 30% of normal. Feedback on lead quality has been a little mixed - some have reported an increase in 'time wasters', but others have reported lead to instruction conversion rates as good as, and in one or two cases better than normal, with some also having pre-booked surveys for when the restrictions are eased. Conversion rates may have been helped as a result of many surveyors choosing to suspend accounts temporarily, with fewer surveyors being returned in results. That is particularly true outside of London.

When the lockdown started, our take on things was that after the initial shock as new buyers were stopped at source, volumes would steadily decrease as home buying transactions already under way filtered through the system, but that doesn't quite seem to have been the case, as there seems to be more ongoing activity in the market than might be expected in the circumstances.

Our expectation for the next few weeks is that current levels are likely to continue much as they are, until restrictions on Estate Agents offices, viewings and inspections are eased and activity increases. In the meantime we will continue to do what we can to generate leads for those that need or want them.

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I was pleasantly suprised to receieve a call from Ross, who had completed my survey minutes before. He walked me through the issues and clarified any questions or concerns I had. This was an above and beyond service, to which I am very grateful. This is my first house and of course have my own concerns about the process. It is people like Ross however that makes things less stressful and indeed a wholly better experience all around. If you are reading this, thank you.

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I found it very useful in finding a charterd surveyor in a town not known to me. In addition I was able to compare the companies listed together with their fees. On contacting my chosen firm they were well organised and quickly arranged a date for the survey.

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Easy to use search site, listed a good selection of surveyors for the area, all the short list chosen replied within the day and we are now finalising selection.

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Very helpful. A good range of surveyors provided. Unfortunately our house purchase fell through before we had a chance to book one. Details kept on file for once we have made another purchase.

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Great info on local surveyors. We've booked up a reputable local surveyor straight away. Thanks for your help in an area qe know nothing about !!

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Reid Building Consultants. Very good service and value for money. Originally said it would be a four day turnaround but Instructed on Tuesday, booked for Thursday, emailed report Friday at 10pm. WOW.

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My survey was done on 21 May 2024 Waiting for report Can say surveyor answer the phone quickly spoke to me within the same week booked the survey which I thought was No, this is the hard part I find waiting for the report to see if this house is the right house for me

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Hugh Greenhouse was professional and provided good advice. I was able to get a surveyor locally and quickly so went with them. Thank to Hugh.

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Anonymous

Excellent response. Thanks to all your messages but unfortunately the estate agent gave my house to someone else after saying offer excepted and go ahead with survey. Hopefully soon another property will be needing a surveyor. Thanks to you all.

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What is the RICS?

RICS - London

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is the organisation responsible for the training and regulation of Chartered Surveyors. To be listed on Local Building Surveyors, surveyors must be either a RICS Member (AssocRICS, MRICS/FRICS) or a Firm Regulated by the RICS, so you can be assured that your survey will be carried out by a qualified regulated professional.

Find out more about the RICS

What type of survey do I need?

Find out more about the different RICS Surveys

There are three standard RICS Survey Levels. Check out the links below to find out more:

RICS Level 1 Condition Report

RICS Level 2 HomeBuyer Report

RICS Level 3 Building Survey


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