Concerns have been raised that property valuers in Perth are undermining brokers by intentionally using out-of-date valuation data, with one local broker – who wishes to remain anonymous - claiming she’s come across cases where the difference was almost $50,000.
“Valuers are really killing the market by using three to four month-old valuations; they’re valuing properties based on old data.”
She claims her broking business is ‘constantly’ filing valuation disputes, because the valuers have failed to update information.
“A few years back when we had a boom and properties were selling for $40-50,000 more, they were then afraid of being sued for overvaluing and now I think they really need to have the same concern for undervaluing.”
However, Ballast Finance director, Frank Paratore, says it’s not an issue he’s come across at his Perth-based firm.
“You’re always going to hear about the isolated differences between valuers and what brokers are putting down or clients’ expectations,” says Paratore. “But I can’t honestly say that too much of it has come back to me as a major issue. It could just be a pocket that the broker is dealing with.”
Paratore adds that he makes a particular effort to ensure he’s knowledgeable about the local property market and takes a ‘keen interest’ in real estate, both personally and professionally.
“There shouldn’t be that sort of issue in today’s market with all of the information to hand. With these real estate sites and RP Data or whatever, there should not be these issues at all…You always hear about a couple of issues with valuers, but…it shouldn’t really be in the WA market because the WA market’s still holding up pretty firm.”
However, the anonymous broker argues that this is precisely the issue: As the Perth market continues to rise, valuers are falling behind.
“Even though valuation isn’t an exact science there needs to be more care in terms of turnaround time and getting that data to the banks…Because the market’s now starting to move, I’m getting valuers telling clients that their property is not worth what they paid for it - but they’re using data that’s up to six months old. There was a long period of time where the property market was just not moving and they’re still using that data.”
“My only fall-overs lately have been from undervalued property and definitely something needs to be done about it.”