Blog Archive


What do mortgage changes mean?

New mortgage lending rules are coming into force on April 26.
The changes – implemented by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – are being introduced under a Mortgage Market Review (MMR).
They are designed to ensure people only take out a mortgage they can afford, and to prevent a recurrence of the irresponsible lending practices of the past.
The rules are aimed at mortgage lenders and advisers but will mean your mortgage application could take longer to complete and may be more complicated.
Getting your mortgage approved could also become more difficult.
It means making buyers need to make sure that they have everything lined up to ensure a purchase goes smoothly – including a survey.
Read more about the new rules here:
Remember you can always contact us on 023 92697193 or email [email protected]


Mortgage lending on the rise

The national housing market reported another increase in mortgage lending in March.
Gross mortgage lending totalled £15.4bn during the month, up 4% on February and 33% higher than a year earlier, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
A BBC report says that lending in the first quarter of the year, traditionally a quiet period, was down on the previous three months.
The figures show that total UK mortgage lending in the first three months of the year was £46.3bn. This was 10% down on the last three months of 2013.
However, the CML said this was expected owing to the annual trend of fewer house-hunters looking at properties in the new year. Despite this, lending in the quarter was 37% higher than in the first three months of last year.
Bob Pannell, the CML’s chief economist, said: “The underlying – seasonally adjusted – picture continues to depict the strongest and most sustained activity levels for more than five years.” Read more here:
Good luck if you are househunting this weekend. Don’t forget to contact us for all of your housing needs, including surveys. Call 023 92697193, email [email protected] or visit


New figures show unemployment down and wages up

Unemployment has dropped to 6.9% – its lowest level for five years.

New Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures out today showed the number of people out of work across the UK fell by 77,000 to 2.24m in the three months to February.

The unemployment rate of 6.9% of the adult working population is the lowest since the start of the recession.

The ONS also revealed that average earnings in the three months to February grew 1.7% compared with a year earlier.

The rise comes as inflation on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell to 1.6% in March. In February it was 1.7 %.

It is the first time that earnings have matched inflation for six years, apart from two months in 2010.

Some commentators say it shows the squeeze on workers’ living standards is beginning to ease while others say there is still work to be done to make gains on the past five years.


Good news as inflation drops in March

The national inflation rate has dropped – which is good news for businesses and homebuyers.

UK inflation as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell to 1.6% in March from 1.7% in February, according to the Office for National Statistics (

It is the lowest since October 2009 and the third consecutive month to remain below the Bank of England’s 2 % target rate.

The ONS says falling petrol prices played a key part in the drop.

The rate of Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation also fell to 2.5%
from 2.7%.

All this means that the Bank of England ( is less likely to increase interest rates from their historic low of 0.5 % – which is good news for homebuyers.

Some experts say that we won’t now see an increase in interest rates rise until summer or autumn next year.

So now is the time to strike if you are looking for a new home.

We provide all types of property services – including surveys and structural engineering work – so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

You can always give our friendly and knowledgeable staff a ring on 023 92697193 for a no obligation chat about our services – or by all means email us at [email protected] or find out more at


Warm welcome for graduate trainee Simon

A former construction boss is on the fast track to becoming a chartered surveyor after joining McAndrew Martin.
Simon Lee has become our 18th member of staff as we step-up expansion in our 25th year.
He has started as a Trainee Surveyor after graduating with a Masters Degree in Property Development from the University of Portsmouth School of Civil Engineering and Surveying .
Simon, who is 51, is on the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) fast-track graduate course to professional Membership because of his experience and background.
Ian Lee, one of our Directors, said: “Simon’s addition represents more expansion as we continue to see demand for our services grow.
“We have a dedicated, highly-experienced and talented team but are always looking to bring in new employees of the right calibre.
“Simon will be particularly valuable as much of our growth is in the residential sector, where we have carried out 40% more surveys compared with this time last year.”
We are sponsoring Simon to complete his fast-track graduate course to become a professional Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
He could face his crunch Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) interview and become a qualified as a professional Member of RICS (MRICS) as early as May.
Simon trained in engineering at Portsmouth dockyard and worked as an operations manager for asset management companies before moving into construction in the late 1980s.
He ran his own company, based in Rowlands Castle, from 1991 to 2007.
Simon, who is no relation to Ian Lee, said: “With my background, it was a natural progression into the surveying profession for me.
“Joining such a well-known and long-established firm as McAndrew Martin means I will benefit from a wealth of opportunities and expertise.
“I have joined at the right time as the company expands and goes from strength to strength. I am looking forward to making a valuable contribution to its continuing success.”
Simon’s appointment comes hot on the heels of the Brunel Design Group becoming part of McAndrew Martin in January of this year.
Tim Goodhead, Postgraduate Programme Leader in the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Portsmouth, said: “Simon was an excellent student.
“He produced a dissertation looking at the application of smart technology in the world of building surveying – this earned him a distinction in his studies.”
The expansion comes as growth was further upgraded in the budget this year to 2.7 per cent for 2014.


Boom in surveys as housing market improves

We’re set to employ more staff after a surge in demand for surveys by house-buyers.
We are carrying out 40 per cent more reports this month, February 2014, compared with February 2013 as the housing market and wider economy gains pace.
The increased instructions come as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that average house prices nationwide hit £250,000 for the first time – and as the Bank of England indicated that interest rates would not rise for some time
Ian Lee, one of our Directors, said: “Clients used to ask us how much a survey would cost but now they are asking how quickly we can do it.
“We have seen a 40 per cent increase in surveys compared with last February and expect this to continue into 2014.
“The strong demand and activity levels indicate that the number of prospective buyers is rising and that properties are being snapped-up quickly as confidence in the housing market returns.
“The steady improvement on this time last year and our increased workload means that we are seeking to expand to cope with the volume of demand.”
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney recently said that record low interest rates of 0.5 per cent would remain in place for the foreseeable future.
The ONS has found that the average price of a house across the UK hit £250,000 for the first time at the end of last year.
Other measures produced by the Halifax and the Nationwide, suggest prices are lower.
The latest Nationwide indices for the last quarter of 2013 put the average house price in the Portsmouth area at £197,078. In the Southampton area it was £232,016 and £190,651 on the Isle of Wight.
Nationwide estimated that prices rose on average by 8 per cent across the country last year.
We recently expanded with the addition of the Brunel Design Group in January, taking staff numbers to 17.
We carry out residential work, including surveys and architectural and structural engineering services, as well as commercial contracts and work for such clients as the MOD.
Ian , who is a former Chairman of the Portsmouth Property Association (PPA), urged buyers to use local chartered surveyors where possible.
“Buyers still have to be sensible and it is still crucial that they have an independent survey carried out before proceeding with a purchase.
“It could save a great deal of money in the long run if a problem is identified at an early stage before a sale goes through.
“I would urge people to use a reputable and experienced local surveyor who will be aware of any local issues and represent good value for money.”


McAndrew Martin and Brunel Design join forces

McAndrew Martin has merged with a design and building services related company.

We have taken over the Brunel Design Group as the business continues to grow.

Staff from Brunel Design Group led by Structural Engineer Noor Awan are moving from their offices in Fareham to our headquarters at the Fairway Business Centre in Portsmouth.

The merger has bolstered the wide range of specialist services and depth of expertise we provide – including an in-house structural engineering service.

McAndrew Martin Managing Director Bill McAndrew said: “This merger is a great start to the year.

“McAndrew Martin and Brunel Design Group are a terrific fit as we truly complement each other.

“We are like-minded businesses with highly-experienced, talented and dedicated teams focusing on first-class quality of customer service.”

He added: “We are now one of the few firms of chartered surveyors in the area to have in-house structural engineers, meaning we can offer our clients a swift and seamless service.”

Brunel Design Group and its dedicated team will become part of McAndrew Martin under the merger and cease operating under its own name.

Noor Awan, who is a Chartered Civil Engineer, said: “We look forward to the future with confidence under our new arrangements with McAndrew Martin.

“Both the Brunel Design Group and McAndrew Martin have considerable talent, years of experience and depth of expertise.

“The merger will allow us to serve our customers even better and we also look forward to a future of great success and growth.”

McAndrew Martin, which has 17 staff, is an independent multidiscipline firm of chartered surveyors, architects, structural and mechanical and electrical engineers. We celebrate our 25th anniversary this year.

We have clients across the south, London and home counties. They include the Ministry of Defence, schools, health authorities, Royal palaces and private customers.

The Brunel Design Group was founded in 1994.

Its expertise includes architecture, design, project management, structural and condition surveys and reports, building services inspections and appraisals, and cost management advice.

The company has worked on The Gallery at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, home of the Navy’s very first submarine, the refurbishment of Chawton House which has links with Jane Austen, and a 60 bed ward unit at a MOD hospital.

The merger comes as figures show the economy and housing market picking up.

Growth was upgraded in the 2013 Autumn Statement from 0.6 per cent to 1.4 per cent for 2013, and from 1.8 per cent to 2.4 per cent in 2014.

Recent figures from Halifax showed house prices rising at 7.5 per in 2013 cent a year, with Nationwide placing the increase at 8.4 per cent.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.


Clubbing together for Heroes

Dedicated staff from McAndrew Martin teed up a tremendous boost for wounded Armed Forces personnel.

Our fundraisers presented £3,400 to the Help for Heroes charity from our inaugural golf day held in October.

Director Ian Lee handed over the proceeds to David Moxey, from Help for Heroes, at McAndrew Martin’s offices at the Fairway Business Centre.

Mr Lee said: “The day surpassed all of our expectations.

“We smashed the target of £1,500 we set to raise for Help for Heroes.

“We were delighted to hand over the final amount of £3,400 to such an excellent charity which does such an important job helping servicemen and women with life-changing injuries.

“Thanks must go to our staff who threw themselves into the day as well as those from the business community who supported the event with sponsorship or took part.”

McAndrew Martin and financial services company ADN hosted the inaugural 18-hole fundraiser at Waterlooville Golf Club, Cowplain.

Some 45 players, mainly from property-related companies, took part in the event, which also included competitions, dinner and prize-giving.

Mr Moxey, representing Help for Heroes, said: “The support of people at such companies as McAndrew Martin never ceases to amaze us.

“Our great thanks go to all who helped raise such an incredible amount.

“It will make a tremendous difference to lives of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, veterans and their families.”


McAndrew Martin celebrates silver jubilee year

McAndrew Martin is setting its sights on expansion in 2014 after a record year.

We are aiming to boost staff numbers and step-up its residential and commercial work as we celebrates our landmark 25th anniversary in 2014.

The ambitious plans come after we enjoyed our best ever year in 2013 with a bumper 40 per cent increase in turnover amid an improving economy.

Bill McAndrew, who is Managing Director of the company, said: “All at McAndrew Martin are looking forward to our exciting 25th anniversary year of 2014 with great confidence.

“We are set to work on a new children’s services unit on the Isle of Wight, undertake stone repairs and restoration at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy and provide services to the troops returning from active duty abroad.

“We also are looking to increase the amount of private architectural work that we undertake and with more general survey and valuation work, we are looking to increase the number of staff.”

Highlights of 2013 included quadrennial inspections at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, the Tower of London and Horse Guards Parade.

Bill said: “We also saw a significant increase in the amount of residential survey and valuation work in 2013.

“As a sign of the improving economy, there was also an increase in the amount of residential architectural work carried out, such as new buildings and extensions.”

Recently, the firm hired new staff including trainee building surveyor Lewis Don, 21, from Lovedean.

The success comes as recent figures show the economy and housing market picking up.

Growth was upgraded in the 2013 Autumn Statement from 0.6 per cent to 1.4 per cent for 2013, and from 1.8 per cent to 2.4 per cent in 2014.

Recent figures from Halifax showed house prices rising at 7.5 per in 2013 cent a year, with Nationwide placing the increase at 8.4 per cent.

The Bank of England also said that mortgage approvals have risen to the highest level since February 2008.


Business boost for Help for Heroes

A national charity which transforms the lives of hundreds of wounded personnel from the Armed Forces is to be given a £4,000 boost by businessmen in and around Portsmouth.
An inaugural charity golf day saw 45 people, mainly from property-related companies, take part in the 18-hole fundraiser at Waterlooville Golf Club, Cowplain.
We co-hosted the event with financial services company ADN.
Our Managing Director Bill McAndrew, who founded 14-strong McAndrew Martin nearly 25 years ago, said: “Help for Heroes is an important cause to us all, given the centuries-old military links to Portsmouth, and two of our course guests have sons in the Royal Navy.
“It was a great occasion, with superb weather and plenty of on-the-green banter. With the economy making somewhat of a recovery, everyone was in good spirits.”
Participants paid an entry fee of £45, with firms paying £100 sponsorship for each hole.
Hole sponsors: Brewers, ADN, Bernards, Less Tax to Pay, Taylors, Mitsubishi Electric, Fry & Kent, Concept, McAndrew Martin, Large and Gibson, GD3 Lettings, Spice Merchants, Aequitas, Computer Junction, Brunel, WKB Toyota and Equity.
Mike Sealey’s team from MJS Lens Technology won the competition; the main raffle prize was a 32″ television donated by McAndrew Martin.
November 2014