Estimating Property Values in Times of Significant Uncertainty
In times of Covid-19 pandemic, property market or fair values are harder than ever to estimate. Valuers desperately trying to find enough ‘evidence’, but property is an illiquid asset by definition and as such, transactional evidence disappears during periods of market unrest.
So, what can property valuers do in times of market uncertainty?
The International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC), whose standards have been adopted by the ‘RICS Red Book’, issued a letter in March 2020 with the title ‘Dealing with valuation uncertainty at times of market unrest’. Their advice was mainly based on three points:
If the valuer can’t carry out an inspection due to government restrictions, clearly state it and agree this with the client.
If the valuer considers that it is not possible to provide a valuation on a restricted basis, the instruction should be declined.
Valuers should not apply pre-crisis criteria to their valuations as this approach is based on the potentially erroneous assumption that values will return to their pre-crisis levels and there is no way of predicting that this assumption in fact correct.
The life of a valuer is pretty tough at the best of times, even with the benefit of good comparable evidence. This is because valuers are carrying out transaction analysis in the most imperfect market that exists. This is why valuation is often described as both an art and a science.
Before a valuer starts to worry about the valuation methodology and analysis, the basis of value needs to be defined, this represents the fundamental measurement assumptions of the valuation. For the purposes of this article, I will focus on the most common basis of value, market value.
In order to halt the rapid spread of Covid -19 and to try and ease the pressure on the strained NHS, we, as a country have to stay at home, to work, rest and play.
Cambridge Finance have launched online courses to continue giving you the skills and knowledge you need to better deliver your job; we were committed to this ethos before and now more than ever. We truly believe that we must keep our industry going, so we can all come out of this phase better than we were ever before.
We are however mindful that virtual learning comes with its challenges: we will not be able to replace the face-to-face rapport, it will take longer to explain the complex subject of real estate financial modelling in simple terms, and bad jokes will not make as much sense as they would in the classroom. We also understand that with schools and nurseries closures, you may be facing extra childcare responsibilities on top of trying to keep things going at work and learning new skills.
With all that in mind, the online solution will entail more CPD hours and will comprise of shorter sessions of 4 hours each with regular short breaks in order to maintain focus.