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  1. Blog
  2. How much does a house survey cost in 2022?
Advice about properties
13 August 2020

How much does a house survey cost in 2022?

Rosie Hamilton
Writer & Researcher
detail of an architectural drawing of a new home

Table of contents

  1. 1. How much do house surveys cost?
  2. 2. How much does each type of house survey cost?
  3. 3. Which house survey should I choose?
  4. 4. Who should I get my property survey from?
  5. 5. Will a house survey save me money?
  6. 6. Do mortgage providers require house surveys?
  7. 7. FAQs

Buying property involves a lot of different expenses. Conveyancing fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax and Land Registry charges are just some of the costs you can expect to pay when you buy a house. A cost that homebuyers often forget about is house surveys. While not strictly essential, house surveys provide a great deal of information about the integrity of your prospective new home. So how much are house surveys, and are they a necessary expense?

How much do house surveys cost?

House surveys cost from £200 - £2000. The price varies greatly depending on the type, location, and size of the property - as well as the level of detail you're looking for.

As a general rule, a Condition Report is the cheapest survey option, while a Structural Survey costs the most. You should expect the survey cost to fall somewhere in the following ranges, but remember that if you're buying a house that's more unusual you may have to pay more:

Survey typeSurvey cost
Condition Report (RICS Level 1)£200 - £250
Homebuyer Report (RICS Level 2)£400 - £600
Home Condition Survey (Sava)£400 - £600
Structural Survey (RICS Level 3)£1000 - £2000
Snagging Survey> £300

How much does each type of house survey cost?

There are five types of house surveys available for homebuyers to choose from each with different costs:

Condition Report (RICS Level 1)

Average cost: £200 - £250

The RICS Condition Report is designed for conventional properties built from standard building materials.

A Condition Report (RICS Level 1) covers:

  • A summary of risks to the property
  • ‘Traffic light’ ratings based on the condition of each part of the building
  • Advice on planning and control, as well as replacement part guarantees

Homebuyer Report (RICS Level 2)

Average cost: £400 - £600

The Homebuyer Report is designed for modern, conventionally built properties in good condition.

A Homebuyer Report (RICS Level 2) covers:

  • A visual inspection of accessible areas
  • A summary of any serious issues, including those affect property value

Home Condition Survey (Sava)

Average cost: >£400 - £600

Similar to a RICS Homebuyer Report, a Sava Home Condition Survey provides a brief overview of the property’s condition. This includes a rating (out of 1, 2 or 3) of the condition of each element in the property (Walls, mould). The main differences between the Sava report and the RICS report, is that the Sava version involves slightly invasive inspections. As a result, the Home Condition Survey is a little bit more expensive than the RICS Homebuyer Report.

A Sava Home Condition Survey covers:

  • A visual inspection of areas (slightly more invasive than RICS Homebuyer)
  • Ratings out of 3 based on the condition of each part of the building
  • A summary of any serious issues, including those that affect property value

Structural Survey (RICS Level 3)

Average cost: £1000 - £2000

The RICS Level 3 Structural Survey is designed for old, run-down or unusual properties. It provides a detailed report with a highly thorough and invasive inspection of the property. It’s also the most expensive residential building survey available. You should expect a survey cost of around £1,000, but for larger or more unusual properties, you might find the cost is closer to £2,000. For smaller properties, fees starting at £600 are reasonable.

A Structural Survey report (RICS Level 3) covers:

  • A thorough, invasive inspection of the property
  • Condition ratings out of 3 based on seriousness of problems, with 3 meaning urgent repairs are needed.
  • A detailed summary of risks to the property

Snagging Survey

Average cost: >£300

If you're buying a house that's just been built, it may feel unnecessary to have a full investigation into the condition of the property. This is where a 'snagging survey' becomes a suitable option. Snagging surveys are specifically designed for new build properties. They cover everything from small cosmetic issues, to structural problems.

A Snagging Survey covers:

  • Expert commentary on the property, from the sort of walls it has, to the type of window glazing that's been used.

You can read our full guide to the different types of house survey here.

Which house survey should I choose?

You should choose your house survey based on the type of property you’re buying. You should also take into consideration the level of confidence you have in its current condition. If you’re buying a new build for example, there’s no need to pay for a full Structural Survey.

Survey typeWhen to choose this report for your property
Condition Report (RICS Level 1)For conventional properties in good condition and less than five years old.
Homebuyer Report (RICS Level 2)For modern properties in reasonable condition.
Homebuyer Report (Sava)For modern properties in reasonable condition.
Structural Survey (RICS Level 3)For very old, unusual or rundown properties.

Who should I get my property survey from?

There’s a lot of qualified surveyors available to choose from. Our recommendation is to get quotes from two or three providers. Ask them about their specific expertise, and an outline on what you can expect from their report. This will help you get a sense of which surveyors are offering the best value for money, and who will produce the most useful report for your needs.

Will a house survey save me money?

While a survey might seem like an extra cost you can avoid, their findings can actually save you huge amounts of money in the long run:

  • If a survey finds large structural issues, you will be able to make a more informed decision about whether to proceed with the purchase.
  • Any issues discovered can be used as a negotiating tool. If your surveyor recommends expensive repairs, you are in a good position to negotiate their costs off the property sale price.

Ultimately, a £600 survey could potentially save you thousands. It's worth the cost.

Do mortgage providers require house surveys?

Most mortgage lenders do require mortgage valuation reports to be completed in order to assess a buyer’s loan application. A mortgage valuation report is not a house survey, but a quick look at a property to assess how much it’s worth. It’s required to ensure the property provides security for the loan. You will be required to pay for it. Generally, mortgage valuations cost upwards of £350 depending on the size of the property.

FAQs

Who pays for the property survey?

The buyer is usually the person who arranges and pays for the property survey. This usually happens once their offer has been accepted by the seller.

Who pays for problems found in surveys?

There’s no specific rule about who pays for problems found in house surveys. However, if problems are found, sellers can use the survey to renegotiate the price of the property, or arrange for the buyer to fix them.

Are house surveys worth the cost?

Yes, house surveys are well worth the money! Having an expert inspect the property before you purchase it will ensure your investment is a good one. Any undisclosed problems could cost you thousands of pounds later down the line. With a house survey, the buyer will likely subsidise any problems discovered.

Why do property surveys vary in price?

Property surveys vary in price because some are longer and more invasive than others. Price however, should not have an impact on the type of property survey you choose. Your choice of survey should be based on the type of property you’re going to buy. Once you know which survey you need, you can shop around for cheaper surveyors.

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