Please see an interview with Charles Dixon – a RICS surveyor with over 26 years of revel in within the industry. Charles presents some in-intensity information of an awful lot relevance to UK assets investors such as a definition of what ‘fee’ approach nowadays; contemporary day valuation techniques; due diligence hints; his own mind at the belongings market; the law of the belongings industry and much more:

1) Can you provide an explanation for a chunk about your history?

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I have worked in the belongings global considering the fact that graduating from Reading University in 1976 to start with within the South Midlands and East Anglia, however for the ultimate 26 years inside the South West along with Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, and Dorset.

2) What is your definition of ‘price’ inside the present day UK property marketplace?

Here is the nontechnical answer: the UK belongings market is a largely open and loose marketplace made from heaps of character transactions made by means of humans and businesses with wide-ranging goals. An unfastened drift of facts in the marketplace is critical in informing the choices in the back of the one’s transactions. The net has revolutionized the supply of statistics on transactions and has made it on hand to all and sundry; whereas before only humans inside the enterprise had such statistics. This has enabled many greater human beings to join the assets proudly owning network. Value is what one character pays to any other for belonging and, if the fee isn’t to be distorted, each event ought to be nicely informed and appearing in an arms duration courting.

3) Would it’s truthful to mention that most surveyors are taking a conservative view at the valuation of property because of the uncertainty of the market?

Surveyors base their assessment of cost no longer simplest on similar proof of comparable transactions however additionally on their assessment of current marketplace sentiment from the general public, the number of properties to be had and being traded and of route many outside elements that undergo on the individuals venture a belongings transaction – as an instance: the general kingdom of the financial system, interest costs, taxation regulations and so on. If surveyors are taking a conservative view, this needs to mirror a conservative technique that parties are taking in real negotiations and transactions and reflecting the uncertainty of the market of which they form a part.

4) The majority of investors studying this are residential assets consumers – one trouble that has emerged as a result of the low market pastime is the capacity to acquire comparable bought information. What are the nice steps that may be undertaken from your factor of view?

Data on assets transactions is available thru many loose websites and via the Land Registry. Statistics on traits are also available loose from the Department for Communities and Local Government and indices on residence charge actions from Halifax Bank and Nationwide Building Society. There also are subscription websites giving additional facts which in addition understanding about neighborhood markets (which include ‘Hometrack’). Agents are usually inclined to assist with statistics on transactions of their location furnished they’re approached tactfully and they may be not confined from giving records on a transaction with the aid of confidentiality. The contemporary scenario is dramatically better for individual traders than it has ever been and through the years it is probably to enhance similarly with the further development of the net. However whilst there are so few transactions as we’re presently experiencing, it’s miles tough find similar evidence. This is an issue for expert Valuers as lots as the general public. It desires offers to be executed to establish the market. In those conditions, buyers can be taking greater dangers as their decisions are less nicely knowledgeable. Property transactions have by no means been risk unfastened and it can be that, after an extended length of a growing marketplace before this recession, a few humans became too complacent and assumed that their assets transactions couldn’t fail.

5) Can you communicate via the procedures which you would adopt previously to traveling a property in phrases of your very own due diligence?

Terms of commercial enterprise have to be agreed with the customer earlier than journeying the belongings. Very regularly the customer is pressing to have the advice/ survey/valuation as quickly as possible so that office-based studies once in a while happens after a visit in preference to before. In any case, the Surveyor can target his studies greater efficiently if he has first visited the assets and in fact it and its vicinity. Depending on the purpose of the record, the Surveyor will want to recollect the maximum of the following.

6) Similarly, in case you are asked to adopt a ‘laptop’ valuation what steps would you be taking?

Surveyors should be very cautious of computing device valuations which can be misleading to the recipient if the premise of the valuation isn’t nicely understood. In standard, such valuations have to handiest be undertaken while the belongings have been formally inspected and ideally now not too long before. Such valuations have to definitively kingdom the assumptions on which they may be made. They are nicely prevented whilst a surveyor is dealing with the majority who will possibly anticipate the equal stage of knowledge of the belongings as if it had virtually been inspected and can feel allow down if they eventually find changed conditions which had no longer been identified through the death of an inspection.

7)On the again of the final questions, do you watched residential house prices in the UK are nonetheless over-valued?

In my opinion, residential residence charges are too high on the subject of profits levels – especially if as a society we want to inspire a domestic possession tradition. This is not a fault of the property market, however of outside factors that endure domestic consumers such as a lack of new houses available to buy accordingly limiting supply. In an open market together with the property marketplace inside the UK, home consumers are competing for them to be had homes to shop for with different forms of customers which includes foreign buyers, purchase to allow traders, holiday domestic customers and so forth. Unless the authorities intervene to downside those other varieties of clients (which I might no longer advocate) they key to lowering expenses is to grow the delivery of houses on the market.

8) Should residential assets buyers take extra of a ‘cost’ primarily based technique – as is what’s more commonplace in industrial belongings?

If the purpose for purchase is belongings funding then yes, a cost-based method is the exceptional recommendation. However, when humans buy for his or her very own career and use they observe many special subjective criteria and could occasionally ignore the rational behavior of the marketplace and pay in excess of what the property could be resold for. This is a valid a part of a numerous open market that sometimes makes it unpredictable for the ones staring at it from a distance.

Nine) You are the main endorse of regulation of the property enterprise – and your ebook discusses this in detail – what varieties of measures do you suspect ought to be in place?

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I am an advocate of the proper regulation of people running within the property enterprise specifically to shield the green trendy public who every now and then participate. I do no longer mainly suggest the law of property itself until there is a clean want. In many components of the assets industry there may be a clear want and apparent gain from various styles of law, however, in general, I sense that there was excessive and too complex regulation in recent years to the quantity that some people ignore areas of law or the regulation restricts the marketplace. Regulation ought to be proportionate to the advantage performed as well as being simple and simple.

10) Is there a distinction, in your opinion, among law to put in expert principles into the enterprise and the government simply sticking their oar in?

Governments are encouraged to regulate wherein they feel that purchasers are adversely affected or if the marketplace is performing imperfectly or against policy objectives. Governments are also stimulated to discover methods to tax property which is superb save of personal wealth and an easy target for the raising of public finance. Occasionally, governments will alter in pursuit of social coverage objectives. In a fashionable, the government inside the UK has no longer regulated a lot in pursuit of encouraging professional concepts, however alternatively has relied on the industry self-regulating itself via its expert bodies which include the RICS and NAEA. The Government has resisted the temptation to statutorily adjust Estate Agents which it could have achieved at any time by using powers within the Estate Agents Act of 1979. This approach that the professional our bodies want to be constantly looking at themselves seriously to make certain that they’re reflecting public opinion and public worries with the aid of adapting their regulatory preparations to preserve up with first-class practice.