Brunel is warning surveyors to learn lessons from the past as rising house prices, combined with a significant upturn in property valuations and residential mortgage advances signals a recovery in the property market.

It is good news that the housing market is recovering in the UK, with increased work for valuation surveyors and other property professionals.  However, with many alleged negligence claims for past valuations still working their way through the insurance system, surveyors need to be careful not to get carried away with the first signs of recovery,” said James Burgoyne, Director, Brunel Professional Risks.“The UK recovery is still fragile and we have seen from past experience that lenders are quick to turn on property valuers when loans turn sour,”  he continued, “Surveyors need to protect themselves with top quality risk management procedures which enable them to fully justify and benchmark their valuations, and these measures should be supported with the RICS’ recommendations that surveyors carefully consider their terms of engagement with lenders, and resist the price pressure which commoditises a complex professional service.”

The latest RICS recommendations are set out in a report which can be found here.

According to a report in Mortgage Introducer, research from chartered surveyors Connells Survey & Valuation, shows that the total number of valuations conducted in November grew by 33{0a6a65c996ed4169444354e707b897cdb00dbefc1d0429e8febb9bf11027ba53} over the last year.  John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “Progress since the start of the year has truly transformed the housing market, and cautious optimism for 2014 seems more appropriate than most would have hoped for even a few months ago.”

At the same time the number of loans advanced to homebuyers in November climbed above 70,000 for the first time since January 2008, according to the latest Mortgage Monitor from e.surv.  In total e.surv says there were 71,920 house purchase approvals in November, a 6{0a6a65c996ed4169444354e707b897cdb00dbefc1d0429e8febb9bf11027ba53} increase on October, which the surveyor believes is a sign of growing lender and consumer confidence.

The improving figures are underlined by a report in the Telegraph, which says that houses in three-quarters of postcodes rose in value in 2013, according to property analyst Hometrack.

Despite improvement in the property market, it remains a difficult insurance market for valuation surveyors, with insurers acutely aware of the risks involved in property valuation.  Insurers will only offer their best rates to firms which can demonstrate high quality risk management procedures and an excellent claims record.  We take a great deal of time and effort to work with our clients to present their businesses to insurers in the best possible light,” said James Burgoyne.