In May, the chartered surveying firm launched a menu of remote valuation options for lenders, enabling them to lend more confidently at higher LTVs, on larger loan sizes, and on complex BTL mortgages, including HMOs.
This includes traditional desktop valuations by a RICS-registered valuer; geotagged time-restricted photos of key property components which can then be sent to the surveyor to strengthen the remote valuation using a property risk inspection application; and sending a property risk gatherer to take additional external photos and measurements.
The firm can also arrange a physical internal inspection.
B&C asked Joe whether remote valuations will become more integral in the market, even post crisis.
“I think so … lenders have been pushing towards the AVM model for quite some time,” he said.
“But that obviously has issues in the current market where there [is a] lack of transactions … those AVM confidence scores are not as accurate as they once were."
He believes that having a blend of both surveyor and AVM doing a desktop valuation is the "perfect way" to assess low-risk jobs.
Despite a lack of transaction information, Joe feels that there are now more data sets available and believes technology has “rapidly reacted” to coronavirus.
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“We can do desktop valuations now bringing in flood risk, subsidence risk, any insurance claims on a property in the past; all of this information is now just instantly available, so it gives you a [more] accurate desktop valuation.”
B&C asked how risk can be mitigated for lenders when valuing remotely — something which he claimed has been high in demand from specialist lenders during the crisis.
“It’s providing the accurate information to the surveyor upfront so, making sure that there is information available online to qualify the property as being suitable for a desktop valuation.
“And, if changes have been made to the property, then making sure that all of that information is provided as part of the application, so that the surveyor can see the property correctly as it is today.
“The quality of the data sets the desktop valuation up for ultimate success."
With little information, he says you can’t help but err on the side of caution, "because you could have a look at the front of a building and some old photographs that may be three or four years old, and then you have to assume that it’s three or four years’ worse now than it was then," he explained.
“Whereas, actually, if they [had] moved into that home and [they had] loved it and revamped it, and now it’s loads better, then you don’t know that unless you were given that information so, you have to assume the worst, essentially.
The full interview can be viewed below.