Expert Insights: A surveyor’s view of the current property market

A few months ago, when we were in lockdown and there was a lot of speculation about what it meant for the housing market, I said the market was just on pause. Using the same analogy, it’s now on fast forward.

At Arnold & Baldwin, we work primarily in London and the South East and the market here is incredibly busy. I’ve just been to see a mansion flat in need of full refurbishment just a stone’s throw away from Victoria station in London that was sold for £1.75m before it was even taken to market. The buyer, who made an offer straight away, did have some concerns about the future of the London market and whether homeworking would impact values in the city centre, but also took the view that this was a good property in a beautiful building in a great location, and there will always be demand for strong properties.

There is a lot of demand for properties across all levels of the market at the moment. Terraced houses and semi-detached houses are all selling well and selling fast. It seems that gazumping has returned to the market and we have had a couple of clients who have had to cancel their survey because their offer on a property was gazumped. And it’s not just in London. I have spoken to estate agents in other parts of England and in Wales who are all reporting that they are very busy.

The lesson here is that it’s really important to act quickly and get all of your ducks lined up in a row. Make sure that you have all of the right professionals in place and ready to go – surveyor, solicitor and mortgage broker. For professionals involved in the homebuying process, now is a good time to establish strong working relationships with other professionals, such as surveyors, if you haven’t done so already. These partnerships can help your clients to move forward more efficiently and can, of course, be beneficial for your business.

The current rush of demand hasn’t just come from homebuyers, but also property investors, and our experience is that landlords are back and looking for opportunity to invest. There is particularly high demand from landlords for more expensive properties and the £1m - £5m market is very active at the moment. I’m even working on one investment property currently worth £29m, which is let out for £17,500 a week – that’s £910,000 a year!

There is still some uncertainty around the economy and what impact unemployment may have on the market and, of course, Brexit is just around the corner. But for now, the property market is a very busy and vibrant place to be and there are no signs of this changing in the immediate future.

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About the author

Joe Arnold avatar

Joe Arnold

Joe is the guiding force behind Arnold & Baldwin and has overall responsibility for all commercial and residential surveys and valuations. Passionate about delivering the highest quality products at the fairest prices possible, he has been consistently searching for new and innovative client-focused services since founding the company with Jobie in 2007

Read more about Joe Arnold

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Professional, efficient surveyors. Get the job done in a timely manner, had our survey back within 5 days of inspection. All team members I spoke with (Tiffany and Billy) were really lovely. Highly recommend. :)


I have only just started working with Stephen and he has already demonstrated the high levels of customer attention and dedication that this company has. The first impression he has caused is such that made me write this review. I have no doubt that the continuous service will be of same level. Looking forward to working further with Stephen. Well done!

Steve Kenny

Lease extension - I found Daniel Grove very professional and had an excellent understanding of all aspects relating to this transaction. Advice was invaluable, and it was nice to come across someone who did exactly what they said they were going to do. Would not hesitate in recommending the firm and Daniel to anyone who has a lease to extend.

Petros Kyrkilis

Amazing job and fully professional treatment. The surveyor went above and beyond to check for everything, when he could have easily claim lack of access. In addition he was more than happy to answer questions over the phone and be there to explain the steps.

Lynn Wilson

Within 48 hours I received my detailed report from Joe Arnold which enabled me to see the property as it was and not through rose-tinted glasses! The report highlighted areas where money might need to be spent and provided guidance on questions for my solicitor - just what I needed. Overall, the survey enabled me to re-assess my offer and in this respect was invaluable. Thank you for a friendly and professional service.

Mark Roberts

100% choose this company. As first time buyers we had a mortgage valuation which said the house was fine. The Arnold & Baldwin survey found over £30,000 of problems. Holes in the roof with daylight visible, damp, woodworm, broken sash windows and poor electrics. This company helped us renegotiate and save a fortune.


Arnold & Baldwin came recommended and I’ve got to say they were brilliant - not just in identifying issues with the property I was looking at but in the way they kept me informed and up to date (ie picking up the phone instead of just posting / emailing communications with you). After dealing with estate agents for so long, it’s nice to have someone who is genuinely on your side.

Kamal Rahman

From my initial interaction with the firm I found them to be prompt, courteous and helpful. I received a detailed Homebuyers report within a week of instructing and was given the opportunity to talk it through with the attending surveyour. Overall excellent service all round, would certainly recommend this firm.

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