What are the Most Popular Surveys in London?
Compare My Move’s data shows that the most popular survey type for our London users is a homebuyers survey, with 65% of people needing one in the capital. The remaining 35% of our London movers required a building survey. Our data reveals that 17% of people buying a terraced property required a homebuyers survey, whilst 15% needed a building survey.
Our data also shows that the majority of homebuyer surveys were needed for flats, with 39.47% of all homebuyers survey purchased for use on London flats. With only 2.5% of buyers needing property surveys for detached properties, our data shows how popular the sale of flats is in London.
The demand for purchasing existing properties is much higher than that for new build properties in London, with flats and maisonettes seeing a yearly increase in the value of 5.5%. Detached properties have seen a monthly decrease in value of -2.7%, making detached properties attractive to buyers. As many detached properties in London will be Victorian, you may require a building survey due to the age and condition of the property.
Although there were many high-rise residential tower blocks built in London after the second world war, there remains a fair amount of Georgian townhouses, Victorian detached properties, Edwardian terraced houses as well as the presence of Regency architecture that began after the Georgian era. The building survey is the most in-depth and comprehensive survey which will be able to highlight any structural damage that can commonly be found in older properties.
What Types of Historical Architecture Does London Have?
During the Georgian period, houses were built to make a profit for the first time and multiple properties were constructed at once. These expanded beyond the boundaries of the City of London following the Great Fire which destroyed most of London in 1666. These terraced properties are recognisable from their red bricks, tall windows and symmetrical style.
Examples of Regency architecture, from the end of the Georgian era, can be found in areas such as Belgravia and Regent’s Park, with an identifiable intricate white stucco front. You will also see a large amount of Edwardian properties in London. These terraced homes are still very popular today and can be found in many of London’s suburbs. These older homes which make up a large proportion of the landscape of London are best suited for a full building survey.
For Victorian and Edwardian properties, many of their unique features have come back in vogue in recent years. These features were hidden or ripped out in the 60s and 70s, having been considered old fashioned. You may find that you can unearth some of these features but read your survey thoroughly before undertaking any work to avoid causing or exacerbating an existing issue in the property.
Following the second world war, a large majority of residential housing had to be rebuilt, leading the way to the high rise blocks seen in London today. The trend of building upwards has remained in London, as space for new housing becomes more and more sparse. Existing properties remain popular among buyers, with 5,200 sold in January 2020 and only 369 new builds sold. There are 605 listed buildings in the City of London and 27 conservation areas.
|New Build Sales*||369|
|Existing Property Sales*||5,200|
Is Subsidence an Issue in London?
If you’re looking to buy a house in London, it’s important to look for signs of cracks as this could be subsidence. Subsidence can affect any property type, but considering that most properties in London are older buildings, you will need a property surveyor to carry out a building survey and assess the structure. The building survey will take an in-depth look at the property’s condition.
London is one of the most affected areas in the UK for subsidence, as shown in this UK Subsidence Map. Whilst there are many reasons for subsidence to occur, London’s biggest cause of subsidence is its expansion of cohesive soils. London has the highest shrink-swell clay hazard in the UK, meaning 1 in 50 houses in London suffer from subsidence.
The South-East of London is most affected by subsidence, so it’s even more vital to get a property survey if you’re looking to buy a house in South-East London. In Greater London, the majority of homes are built on London Clay which is at a high risk of shrinkage. There are many Victorian and Edwardian homes in North London that were built on soil that is at risk of shrinking, combine this with their shallow foundations and it increases the risk of subsidence.
To avoid any huge repair bills later down the line, you’ll need a chartered surveyor to carry out a survey. Compare My Move have plenty of London based surveyors we can connect you with. They’ll have in-depth knowledge of the local area so they will be familiar with the types of property and what to look for.
Is Japanese Knotweed a Concern in London?
Japanese Knotweed was initially introduced to Britain in the 1840s as an ornamental plant. A shipment was sent to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew in London and was later sold commercially by nurseries.
It now grows aggressively along waterways, in parks, along railways and in gardens across the UK. If you are buying a property in London nearby water or a rail line, it is thoroughly recommended that you hire a surveyor to identify if the plant is an issue on or around the property.
Japanese Knotweed is described by the Environmental Agency as “indisputably the UK’s most destructive and invasive plant”. According to data released by Environet, Clapham Common in South London is the number one worst affected area in London, with 192 infestations. Following closely was Pollard’s Hill in Norbury, with 150 infestations reported.
Regent’s Park, home to grand properties of the Regency era, had the third-highest concentration, with 129 cases of knotweed within 4km. Environet estimates that the plant currently affects 5% of all UK properties. Japanese Knotweed can reduce the value of your home and many mortgage lenders can and will refuse a loan for a house plagued with the plant.
A property surveyor will be able to identify if the house you are looking to purchase has Japanese Knotweed within its boundaries and if the plant is present on neighbouring grounds.