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One in five valuations will be digital by next year – Blackwell

by: Mark Blackwell, lending and surveying services director of Etech
  • 05/04/2018
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One in five valuations will be digital by next year – Blackwell
There’s a desire to see real change in the housing market, which is clear from the response to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s call for evidence into improving the home buying process issued last Autumn. 


Reducing failed transactions and making completions faster are a priority for stakeholders, and technology will be instrumental in achieving this.

The mortgage intermediary plays a key part in the house buying and selling process and we know brokers are keen for new solutions to facilitate a more streamlined experience, such as more robust lending decisions, increased data sharing and efficiencies.

In short, brokers want to ensure customers get their mortgage offer as soon as possible, and using technology to reduce the time between mortgage application to offer and completion is making this a reality.


Vital step

Surveys and valuations are a vital part of the journey, allowing lenders to assess the asset they are lending against – but they can often slow down the process.

Surveyors carry out time consuming on-site inspections, followed by further delay through off-site follow ups, such as trawling comparable property data and consulting often lengthy lender guidance.

In reality, a physical inspection isn’t always necessary, but without access to the right information, surveyors are often instructed to attend a property regardless.

Mitigating risk is the top priority for lenders, and in the absence of an alternative way to ascertain the value of any given security, an on-site survey is the default option.

However, when lenders have access to data to help them to decide what type of valuation to instruct, dramatic efficiencies can result.

When selecting a valuation type, the goal is to indemnify the lender against unnecessary risk.


One in five valuations will be non-physical by 2019

An effective automated assessment of a valuation instruction can consider a range of factors to help lenders decide whether there is a need to invest in an on-site valuation.

Environmental issues are all easily identifiable and available to those using technology and can provide lenders with an immediate picture of a borrower’s risk.

These elements include proximity to flood, erosion and subsidence; geographical factors, such as location relative to major motorways for instance; and loan to value, perhaps the most critical consideration for lenders.

Anecdotal evidence suggests at least 20% of all valuation instructions will be non-physical inspections by 2019, freeing up surveyors’ time for those instances where they really are needed on-site.

Harnessing technology means the types of innovations mentioned here are already deployed to the market and help in removing delays in getting properties valued.

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