As a business that undertakes a significant portion of work in the residential property sector, predominantly as part of property transactions and therefore reliant on sales and purchases, we were hit hard by the shut down of the property market.
To pretend that everything was rosy would be untrue; we had to make some difficult business decisions very early on during the pandemic; something that many businesses in our sector and others will be able to sympathise with.
Thankfully, largely due to the variety of work we undertake and thanks to the varied skills of our Partners, who worked throughout the lockdown, since restrictions started being eased in England, we have seen survey enquiries take a turn in the right direction.
Consequently, we have now been able to bring the majority of our staff back from furlough and have been taking on a variety of work since lockdown restrictions started being eased in England.
Here are some of the sectors and types of job we have been asked to quote and have undertaken:
Residential Valuations and Survey Reports
As soon as the restrictions were eased on residential property transactions in England and the housing market was effectively re-opened, we received a large number of enquiries relating to residential property Valuation and Survey Reports. Where property transactions had been put on hold, there was clearly a level of pent up work which those involved in property transactions were keen to get underway as soon as they were able.
We have received enquiries from a number of commercial clients who are looking at their options regarding their properties, therefore having Valuations undertaken. Commercial properties that may need to be sold or re-mortgaged will also need to have Valuation Reports undertaken, which may lead to a further spike in this type of enquiry.
We are receiving new dilapidations enquiries on a weekly basis from commercial clients across the region. Dilapidations usually apply when a lease is coming to an end, although can also apply at any time during the lease, such as when a Tenant decides to activate a break clause and vacate the property.
Schedules of Condition
Although many businesses have been negatively affected by Covid-19, there will be some businesses that have actually seen an increase in demand. We have received a few enquiries from incoming tenants, taking up large commercial premises. One job we have received an enquiry for related to a 60,000 sq ft building.
We have recently been instructed to undertake an Expert Surveyor’s Report for various litigation disputes.
We are appointed to project manage the re-building of a farmhouse in Lancashire, where we are acting on behalf of an insurer following a fire.
Outside of these areas of work, we are continuing to act for several academy school clients and sixth form colleges across the North West. As well as awaiting the outcome of the 2020/21 CIF bidding round, we are also working with schools on ongoing improvement projects, as well as one off projects. We were recently instructed to undertake a valuation of a school that is looking to join a Multi Academy Trust.
As the above list of work shows, we are receiving work across a wide range of sectors, involving not only transactions but also improvement and extension work.
The initial signs have been positive and we are now starting to see real green shoots appear. Although it is early days, and the wider economic impact of Covid-19 has yet to be felt, we remain hopeful that the property sector in Lancashire will be largely resilient.
For more information on any of our areas of work or to obtain a quote, please get in touch.