Property Valuation - What you need to know

May 20, 2021

What is a property valuation?

In its essence, a property valuation is what your house is worth. It is an estimated value given by a trained and registered professional on residential or commercial property. A valuation could also be carried out on rural property, land or lifestyle blocks. 

The primary reason for getting a valuation carried out on your property is when you are buying, selling or in some way shifting equity within the property. An independent valuer has nothing to gain from the property transaction, whereas a real estate agent might. Therefore, a registered valuer can be trusted to provide an impartial and accurate value for all parties involved. 

Why do I need to get my property valued?

Most often a valuation is required by your primary lender; the bank that you will be servicing your mortgage with. Your bank may need to add a level of certainty before they lend. Although not exclusively, banks tend to normally require valuations for first home buyers, and borrowers with low equity loans or private sales. 

In the case of private sales, a valuation is almost exclusively required. Without this, a bank cannot really know the market value of the property and there is the risk that their customer might be overpaying and increase the risk of the loan. 

Who can value a property?

A registered valuer is the holder of an Annual Practising Certificate issued by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). In order for a valuer to gain an Annual Practicing certificate, they must pass an exam or hold a recognised certificate. 

A registered valuer is not to be confused with a real estate agent who can give their own valuations. The valuations an agent can provide are not necessarily less accurate, but do not have the weight of a registered valuer in the eyes of your lender or bank.

In 2019 there were a total of 781 registered valuers in New Zealand, with Auckand having the most at 260. 

Source: https://gazette.govt.nz/

You can find previously registered valuers here

What does a property valuation consider?

A registered valuer will consider many factors while inspecting a property in order to give a value. These include;

  • Ratings Valuation (RV) - are used to give the valuer a base number. Market and property conditions will supersede the RV. 
  • Location - The quality of the neighborhood, the surrounding houses and general condition of public amenities, roading and environment. 
  • Land - how accessible, tidy and workable the land is. How easy is access and parking. Of Course the size in square meters is also factored. 
  • Building - The size and condition of the buildings/houses/garages etc on the land. All aspects including the interior fit out, roof, cladding, foundations, joinery and insulation are factored in. 
  • Chattels - These are items that are not removable from the property, like carpets, alarm systems, blinds, light fittings and ventilation systems. 
  • Comparable Sales - Perhaps the most important factor a valuer will look at is recent sales in the area of similar properties. Expect to find a break down of these comparable properties within your report.

E-Valuations and digital valuations

In recent years services like the ones offered by Homes.co.nz and Trade Me and OneRoof  provide e-valuations. These values are derived through algorithms based on recent sales in the area and publicly available information. Each are defined within their products;

OneRoof 

"OneRoof has gathered a range of data to estimate the value that a property could sell or rent for. Our data includes publicly-accessible figures like the sale and rent prices of similar properties, local council valuations and market trends."

https://www.oneroof.co.nz/property-valuations

Homes

“The HomesEstimate is our estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula. It is not a formal valuation. It is a starting point in determining a home's value. The HomesEstimate is calculated from public data only. For a formal valuation your real estate agent or registered valuer physically inspects the home and takes special features, location and market conditions into account.”

https://homes.co.nz/homesestimate

Trade Me

“We've gathered a range of data, and created models to estimate what we think a property is likely to sell or rent for. The property estimate draws on publicly available data such as local council rating valuations, sales of similar properties, as well as listing trends and user browsing activity on Trade Me.”

https://trademe.co.nz/property

All three of these tools return similar results when tested in various regions. It's likely they use the same source data and use the same methodology to determine a value range.

How much does a property valuation cost in New Zealand?

Depending on the valuer and region, you can expect a valuation to cost between $600 and $900. This fee could be higher if the valuation needs to be done urgently.

Check out and rate property valuers at Propertydirectory.co.nz

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