Independent valuers in strong demand

Posted On Wednesday, 24 August 2005 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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The drive for transparent property valuations appears to be creating opportunities for independent private valuers.

Stan GarrunThere is concern about the validity of portfolio valuations undertaken by property companies’ own valuers.

Some commentators also argue that the valuations industry is now offering an opportunity to empower emerging valuers in the township property markets.

Speaking at the third annual valuation conference hosted by Investment Property Databank SA (IPD) last week, Trevor King, manager of valuation and professional services at Old Mutual Properties, said that with the current focus on the need for valuers to be independent, there was scope for privately owned and independent valuation companies.

King says there is a shortage of these companies and that there would be a lot of work available for them if they existed.

"I think the valuation industry needs a shake-up and that private companies looking to enter this market must target individuals who have credibility and experience," he says.

Property economist Kgaogelo Mamabolo of Viruly Consulting says there are not many valuers working in SA’s townships.

"We are facing a situation where the townships don’t have an adequate market. In light of the fact that there is a lot of optimism in terms of investing in the township market, we will need valuers to become involved in the market," she says.

"There is an opportunity to empower property practitioners who stay in the townships,"

Mamabolo says, however, that there is also a need for valuers from the formal market to enter the townships and ease the backlogs in undervalued properties, and to teach skills to the emerging valuers.

Investment Property Databank SA MD Stan Garrun says another new trend in the valuation industry is the increasing professionalism of those working for institutions such as insurance and pension funds.

Garrun says institutional valuers doing third-party work outside their companies are setting good examples of professionalism and independence.

"There is a stringent set of rules and policies for the institutional valuer," he says.

"They are becoming quite independent from asset managers. Maybe in the past asset managers had undue influence on valuers. This trend of more independent and professional valuers is becoming more apparent."

But Garrun says he would like to see more institutional valuers in market forums such as the IPD valuations conference.

King says that, following the example set by Old Mutual Properties, there are a number of institutions that have encouraged their valuers to be more "proactive" and professional in securing valuation work from external, third-party clients.

"It keeps valuers on their toes," he says. "It keeps them abreast of market trends and enhances their credibility and the market relevance of the internally completed valuations."

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