What are the Most Popular Surveys in Lewisham?
According to our data, the homebuyers survey is the most popular survey type in Lewisham, with just under 65% of our users arranging one for their house purchase. Out of these users, 26.05% required a homebuyers survey for flats, 17.49% for semi-detached homes and 17.49% for terrace houses. This isn’t surprising as the homebuyers report is typically the most common property survey type in the UK and is designed to suit many modern houses and flats, especially those in relatively ‘good condition’.
The remaining percentage of Lewisham users opted for the more thorough building survey. This type of survey is recommended for properties over 80-years old, in ‘poor condition’ or those made of unusual materials. Out of these users, 15.21% were purchasing terrace homes and 10.27% were purchasing semi-detached houses. Considering the age of many terraces and semi-detached homes in the borough, it’s understandable that many movers would prefer a more detailed inspection before completing the move.
By organising a property survey, you could be saving yourself thousands of pounds in the long run as the report will highlight any damage or defects that may require expensive repair work. The results of said report could even help you when renegotiating the asking price, ensuring the repair costs are covered.
What Types of Historical Architecture Does Lewisham Have?
Some of the homes in the Lewisham Borough date as far back as the 17th and 18th centuries, where the merchants built large, spacious houses with big grounds. Whilst most of these were demolished or renovated in the 19th century, there are still some surviving. There are also bow-fronted cottages, new-build developments and a number of traditional Victorian houses available.
Lewisham has 29 conservation areas, 2 of which have been renovated in recent years. These areas mainly contain Victorian and Edwardian homes but there are also French baroque-style houses in Micheldever Road. If you’re purchasing a home in one of these areas, you won’t be able to complete certain work or renovations without permission from the local authority. This is also true for listed building owners.
The London Borough of Lewisham is currently home to around 540 listed buildings - 35 of which are Grade II* and 2 are Grade I. If you’re considering buying a listed building, not only will you require permission to complete certain work, but you will also need to arrange a listed building survey and not a typical property survey.
When looking at data from the Uk House Price Index, ‘existing properties’ appear to be the most popular amongst Lewisham movers, with 248 sold during October 2020. New-builds were not as popular, however, with only 7 sold during that same month. If the home you’re viewing is 80-years of age, or older, then it’s advised you arrange a building survey to ensure it is structurally sound.
|New Build Sales*||7|
|Existing Property Sales*||248|
Is Subsidence an Issue in Lewisham?
When buying a new home in Lewisham, you will need to be aware that the property is suffering from subsidence or other forms of ground instability. A property survey should highlight any evidence of this.
Subsidence occurs when the ground beneath a building compresses or sinks, resulting in the foundations becoming unbalanced. There are a number of reasons this may happen, including too much pressure on the ground or the building being located on clay soil. Clay soil can dry, crack and even shrink during extreme changes in weather, shifting the ground around it.
According to the UK Subsidence Map, Lewisham and other London boroughs are at risk of subsidence. Whilst it’s mostly city centres that experience high risk, areas surrounding them (such as Lewisham) will also be affected. It’s crucial that you arrange a property survey before completing the purchase to ensure there are no risks or current damage surrounding the home.
Evidence of subsidence can include large cracks appearing around windows and door frames. Should you suspect the property has already been affected by subsidence, it would be wise to organise a building survey to ensure a thorough inspection has been completed. The report will highlight any structural damage and advise on the next steps to take.
Is Japanese Knotweed a Concern in Lewisham?
Japanese Knotweed is a hardy, destructive and formidable plant that can force its way through concrete, drains and walls, causing great damage to the home and decreasing its value.
Introduced to the UK as an ornamental plant, Japanese Knotweed was originally sold commercially until its true destructive nature was uncovered. It has since been deemed as highly problematic, with some mortgage lenders refusing an application should the plant be found on the premises. It can cost upwards of £3,000 to remove, but you should never attempt to remove it without professional help as it could result in further damage.
Environet’s UK Japanese Knotweed Heatmap portrays Lewisham as a hotspot for the notorious plant, with around 155 reported occurrences in a single postcode area. This isn’t too surprising as many areas surrounding London experience infestations as it was introduced to the UK through the Kew Gardens. A property survey should uncover evidence of the plant should it be found on the property. Your surveyor can then advise you on the next steps to take and explain why you should contact your local authority.