I refer to the article in last week’s edition, “Legal threat to surveyors drives down house prices” (7 May, page 13). I feel I must correct some misconceptions
First, there is an implication that valuers are deliberately down-valuing properties to protect themselves from negligence claims. This is untrue. To deliberately undervalue a property would be just as negligent as overvaluing one. Valuation practice has not altered in the current economic climate and remains based on objective assessment.
Second, there is a suggestion that mortgage lenders have specifically instructed valuers to be more conservative with valuations.
This is untrue. The only thing that has changed in the past two years has been the introduction of the Disclosure of Incentives Form, which has brought transparency to the process.
Finally, there is reference to the “new-build premium”, which most developers acknowledge has disappeared.
The growth in actual and threatened litigation is an inevitable consequence of the market downturn and the losses being incurred by lenders, particularly those whose original lending decisions were based on poor lending and affordability criteria.
David Dalby, RICS director - built environment and property professional groups