Valuation profession adapts

Amid unprecedented challenges, the valuation industry has been forced to adapt its traditional operating model and take on some new ideas.

Valuation is an essential industry for property investors and although the Covid-19 pandemic was expected to dramatically change the market, it emerged even stronger after the initial lockdown in 2020.

The sudden swell in activity has left many valuers struggling to keep up with the demand and rapid movements in the housing market.

This has challenged the industry to do things differently – such as developing special valuation instructions for virtual inspections.

Valuers at CoreLogic developed the process which was initially quite confronting to many industry parties.

But valuation firm Opteon’s regional director Richard Vaughan says the profession had to be pragmatic and make the change happen.

“The continuing high level of demand for valuations also poses fatigue risks for valuers as they push themselves to keep up.

“There’s a lot of pressure on valuers at the moment, and the work needs to be done in a safe and practical way,” Vaughan says.

According to CoreLogic data, nationally, average property values have increased 22.8% in the 12 months to June, reaching an all-time high of more than $900,000.

Meanwhile the total value of all residential property in New Zealand has now streaked past the $1.5 trillion mark for the first time.

In a bid to help valuers improve efficiency and focus on value-add work, forward-thinking valuation firms are harnessing technology to automate and streamline many of their processes.

Vaughan believes strong relationships between all stakeholders will also help the industry better manage the complexities around providing accurate valuations that reflect emerging challenges such as environmental risks.

“After the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, an initial evaluation procedure was developed that has since become essential for all commercial lending,” he says.

“Every time there’s an event like this, we learn more about the role of valuations from a risk perspective, and we can apply these learnings to climate change risks as well.”

This is going to be a looming risk for property investors with coastal properties.

“We need to be prepared to adapt and evolve so we can do things faster and ensure we stay relevant,” says Vaughan.

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