What are the Most Popular Surveys in Bristol?
Compare My Move’s data found that 76% of our users hired a property surveyor to undertake a Homebuyers Survey on their prospective home. The Homebuyer Survey provides an overview of the condition of the property, but does not provide the depth and thoroughness of a full Building Survey.
However, despite the high number of older properties within Bristol, just 24% of our users enlisted a surveyor to conduct a building survey. Properties over 100 years old, those made of unconventional materials, properties that have had extensive work or homes in less than perfect condition are all candidates for a building survey.
The risk of not having the correct survey on your prospective home is that potential issues and expensive repairs may be required further down the line, which may have been avoided if a building survey had taken place prior to purchase. Terraced houses, which are seen in abundance in and around the centre of Bristol, showed the highest number of both homebuyers surveys (30%) and building surveys (9%) according to our data.
Flats had the least amount of building surveys in the area, at less than 2%. Only 9% of homebuyers surveys were taken out on flats. Detached and Semi-detached houses saw 9% and 26% of homebuyers surveys respectively. Meanwhile, just 3% of users organised a building survey on a detached property in Bristol, with 11% doing so for a semi-detached home.
What Types of Historical Architecture Does Bristol Have?
Bristol has the highest concentration of heritage assets of any of the core cities, with 312 Grade I and Grade II listed buildings and over a third of the city lying within designated conservation areas. The city is rich in architectural history, so much so that there is even a specific style of architecture known as “Bristol Byzantine”, developed in the 1850s.
Featuring Tudor, Stewart, Georgian, Victorian and Brutalist architecture, the city’s buildings reflect the vast history of the city and the surrounding area. These existing structures have proved to be more popular with home buyers, with 443 sales of ‘existing properties’ in comparison to just 19 new build sales in January 2020.
Bristol City Council cites the colourful terraced houses ascending the hills of Totterdown or Clifton Woof as one of the defining aspects of Bristol. This type of property, built before 1919, makes up over half the houses in the city. Homebuyers should be aware that many period properties have undergone renovations to accommodate for modern life, some of which can have a negative effect on the building. Cheaper materials and poor workmanship can devalue a beautiful property, so bare this in mind when viewing potential homes.
Depending on the age and condition of the building, it will be recommended that you organise a full building survey on the property you wish to purchase, regardless of its location within Bristol. However, with more modern homes, most of which are built outside of the city boundaries, a homebuyers survey may suffice.
|New Build Sales*||19|
|Existing Property Sales*||443|
Is Subsidence an Issue in Bristol?
Subsidence occurs when the ground beneath a property compresses or sinks, resulting in an unbalanced foundation. This causes the property to become misaligned. In Bristol, where a large number of residential properties are terraced houses, this can have an effect on the surrounding houses, causing damage on a bigger scale.
Not only can subsidence affect the value of the properties, but it can also make the buildings entirely unsafe and uninhabitable. A building survey will be able to highlight any subsidence concerns, so be sure to read your survey report carefully, taking note of any issues raised.
Bristol Post reported in July 2018 that a warning had been issued by Hamilton Fraser, who provide insurance services to the private rented sector, that shortage of rain had been putting properties at an increased risk of subsidence.
It was found that modern properties were less at risk, but the Victorian and Edwardian homes situated in Bristol could be affected due to having shallower foundations. If this is a concern you have regarding a property you are looking to purchase, hiring an experienced surveyor to conduct a full building survey would be strongly advisable.
Is Japanese Knotweed a Concern in Bristol?
Bristol is considered a “hot spot” for Japanese Knotweed, with reports of 364 infestations with a 4km radius of the city centre in spring last year. The fast-growing and destructive plant can reduce the value of a home by 10% - and many mortgage providers won’t agree to a loan if Japanese Knotweed is present within the parameters of the property.
Knotweed removal company Environet UK said in a statement (to the Bristol Post) that the knotweed problem in Bristol’s rich heritage as a busy port. Ships often returned from Japan loaded with ballast to help improve stability on the water, which may have been contaminated with Japanese knotweed. This has caused the plant to establish itself in the Bristol area and spread rapidly.
The founder and MD of Environet, Nic Seal, went on to say that in addition to the city centre, Japanese knotweed could be found in suburbs such as Clifton and Leigh Woods.
So, if you are looking to book one of our local surveyors make sure to check the report for any signs of Japanese Knotweed, within both the boundaries of the property you are looking to purchase and any neighbouring grounds.