Majority of property professionals believe that down valuations are still widespread

Fraud 822

Down-valuations, where the buyer’s mortgage surveyor values the property for less than the agreed selling price, are believed to still be prevalent in 2022 according to 52% of property professionals who took part in a recent webinar poll conducted by Countrywide Surveying Services.

31% highlighted that there was ‘no change’ from before, 14% suggested that they were ‘not very prevalent’ with 3% believing that down valuations hardly ever happen.

When asked the question – down valuation, myth or fact? – the audience’s response was largely mixed with 36% saying that they thought this was a fact and 31% responding that it was a myth. In addition, 21% thought it was both myth and fact with 12% believing it to be neither.

The responses emerged at Countrywide Surveying Services’ regular webinar series with this particular session focusing on a panel discussion centred around down valuations. A record number of 400 people actively engaged in the session with the audience consisting of lenders, brokers, surveyors and other property professionals.

The panel included Jaedon Green, Chief Customer Officer at Leeds Building Society and Sarah Tucker, Founder & MD, The Mortgage Mum who joined Simon Old, Estate Agency Managing Director, South West at Countrywide and John Baguley, Director of Technical, Risk and Compliance at Countrywide Surveying Services. The event was hosted by Matthew Cumber, Managing Director at Countrywide Surveying Services.

Matthew Cumber, managing director of Countrywide Surveying Services, said: “It was really encouraging to see this webinar attract a record audience and this shows what an emotive and highly divisive issue down valuations is. The results also demonstrate wide-ranging opinions, although it was encouraging to see that such a small percentage of respondents deemed down valuations to be ‘very prevalent’ in 2022.

“From a personal perspective, I believe that the term ‘down valuation’ is something of a misnomer in the current mortgage market. What this really means is that there is a simple difference in opinion on what a particular asset is worth, in this case, a property.

“The overriding and reassuring point that emerged throughout this discussion is a clear need for all links in the mortgage chain to be more closely aligned and offer greater transparency in the way we look and advise on property. And this is something that we, as an industry, must identify, understand and overcome.”