A firm of mortgage advisers has denied some media reports that it is seeing over half its cases down-valued.
The suggestion was not made in an EYE story, although we did report – as did the BBC – that more London and Country advisers are seeing down-valuations on a daily basis than those who did not.
However L & C, which provided that information, says it does not mean that over half its overall business is being down-valued.
It also says that remortgage business is particularly prone to down-valuation, with home owners over-optimistic about the value of their own property.
L & C has now issued a clarification: “L&C Mortgages has over 400 mortgage advisers and deals with in excess of 7,000 mortgage applications monthly.
“Like all brokers we see an ebb and flow in the valuation of properties, sometimes where they are above expectation and on other occasions below.
“Some media reports have suggested that more than half of L&C’s cases are down-valued, which is categorically not the case.
“Recent anecdotal evidence has indicated that there has been an increase in the incidence of down-valuations but this is from a low level and is not to a degree that affects a significant proportion of our overall business.
“Much of that incidence will be for remortgage not purchase business, where home owners can be more optimistic on the value of their own home than the market value dictates.”
Yesterday, Ben Elder, global director of valuations at the RICS, blamed agents for the rise in down-valuations.
He told the Sunday Telegraph: “Agents have no obligation to act objectively. They are often bidding against each other to get work, so the price can get pushed up because of that and then does not reflect the hardening of the market.”
He said that valuers faced having to defend the figure they place on a property, in a court of law if necessary.
NAEA Propertymark chief executive Mark Hayward told the paper that valuers were being cautious, adding: “The market is in a nervous state.”