Home Reports – The Final Nail in the Coffin?

Readers of previous blogs will know that in my opinion, the Home Reports imposed on the people of Scotland have been an unmitigated disaster – a stumbling block on the market, an unnecessary cost and impediment, and a solution to a problem that did not exist. 

Close Payment Services who provide the deferred funding option for Home Reports have decided to withdraw their product from all Home Report providers in Scotland. This means that from 1st January 2011 there will be no deferred payment option available for Home Reports.  This is a massive blow to the property market as a number of people currently take advantage of the deferred payment option to mitigate the upfront costs associated with putting a property on the market.  The withdrawal of this product could lead to a high number of properties not coming to the market and will further trap people who, especially in the current economic climate, require to sell their property but cannot afford to make the initial payment.

My firm is actively looking at other options for our clients and I would hope to be able to announce something shortly.

There has been a recent BBC investigation which has disclosed that the Home Report has actually increased the number of multiple surveys due to mortgage lenders not accepting the initial Home Report valuation and requiring a separate valuation.  This is a problem that I am sure will increase especially as properties stay on the market for longer than the 3 month lifespan of a Home Report thus requiring sellers to refresh their Home Report.

With the announcement today from Close Brothers and following on the recent BBC investigation, I would urge the Scottish Government to be bold and scrap the Home Report now and give the property market a fighting chance for 2011.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property Services

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