Latest News January 2009

Andrew has recently been involved with Ricochet on behalf of Channel 5 working on an episode of the Channel 5 television programme ‘Cowboy Builders’ which was screened in January 2009.

Appleby Petfield are instructed to act as Project Managers for a proposed large leisure development to be known as ‘Hill on the Heath’ in Staines Road, Hounslow.  The project is presently at its pre-planning stage and is intended to provide benefit for users of the site, Hounslow Heath and the community at large.


State of Market (February 2009)

We are now well into the New Year and the latest interest rate cut (bank rates down to 1%) has just been announced.  It is difficult to see at this time how a further cut in the interest rates will stimulate the housing market.  It would seem sensible that a period of stability is necessary to allow the industry to digest the recent  interest rate cuts as we move forward into the Spring market.

Agents report an upturn in enquiries and have done so since the beginning of the year which is an encouraging sign and perhaps may give an indication of things to come.

The earlier interest rates cuts at the end of 2008 should now be feeding through into the general economy and particularly into the housing market with reduced mortgage costs for those on variable and tracker products.

The main obstacle is the availability of funds, if enough people ask for money the banks will have to respond for fear of losing custom.

The twin spectres of Deflation and Depression loom on the horizon and it is particularly important that a period of stability is created to give the opportunity to enable growth, rather than the continued expectation of rate reduction.  This leaves the public always waiting for cheaper money and not spending, itself driving the economy deeper towards the ‘2D’s’ Lets be positive and drive the economy forward rather than downwards.


RICS Home Buyers Report 3rd Edition

Tom and Andrew recently attended the RICS Road Show promoting the 3rd Edition of the Home Buyers Report due to be introduced on the 1 July 2009.

The principal of the new version is that there is a move to the use of Condition Rating as a way of reporting on the condition of individual elements.  From market research undertaken by the RICS a move to this system was seen to be easier to understand and preferred by the public.

Condition ratings provide a concise opinion but there will need to be a period of transition for both surveyors and clients.

Andrew has been involved in the field trials of the new system and has generally found it useful.  Field trials are ongoing and final versions of the documentation will be issued prior to the release on the 1 July 2009.  The 2nd edition reports will be phased out over the remainder of the year.

The RICS are moving to dispel the widely held misunderstanding that a Building Society Valuation is a ‘survey’ –  It is NOT.

There are three types of inspection generally described as follows:-

Level 1

Mortgage Valuation – usually carried out by the Lender and primarily serves to ensure that a property is worth the money being advanced.  This is NOT a Survey and should not be relied upon as such.

Level 2

An interim report such as a Home Buyers (or a Lenders variant).  This survey sets out to identify matters of importance on the property being purchased and identify further courses of action, but does include a valuation.

Level 3

A Building or detailed Survey covering all elements of the property in greater depth and detail than a Level 2 giving advice as to construction, condition, extent and type of repair, further investigation and any other specific matters to suit the client’s particular requirements.  Such surveys would only include a valuation as an additional service if required and if the surveyor is competent to undertake the same.


After the recent rains and unusually heavy snowfall in the UK, it is more important than ever to maintain a building in good condition.

Even in poor economic conditions, money spent on maintenance and repairs at the time it is needed, will save money in the longer term.

A consistent flow of business has been achieved over the recent period, although the type of work being undertaken has changed within the last 6 months.

In common with most practices dealing with residential valuation and survey work, this type of work has fallen away in the recent period in line with the slow down in the economy in general and the ‘credit crunch’.