Property purchases are collapsing as surveyors have dramatically reduced property valuations in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. As house prices fall in many areas, surveyors have started to be more conservative with their estimates amid fears that properties could be overvalued. A lack of post-coronavirus housing market data has contributed to this issue, experts said. If the valuation is significantly lower than the agreed sales price, this can cause mortgage lenders to withdraw offers, and sales to fall apart. This phenomenon is known as a “down-valuation” and occurs when a bank’s surveyor values a property. Estate agents and mortgage brokers have reported cases where down-valuations have knocked tens of thousands of pounds off a property’s price. In one instance, a surveyor valued a property at £300,000 less than the agreed sale price. Industry experts said lack of data was posing a major problem for surveyors, many of whom have been unable to visit properties in person.
The Daily Telegraph (24/07/2020)