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Why valuers are earning their keep

Like everyone else, lenders are hungry for data on how the property market is performing. But this phrase itself goes some way towards explaining why there can be no straight answer.

As a concept, the property market exists only as a convenient but clumsy averaging of data used by the government and others who need macroeconomic variables to plug into their sums. It’s also good for the occasional headline in the national press.

But the truth is that to make a decision to buy, sell or lend what’s needed is to understand data on a granular basis – by street rather than by country.

There have always been marked differences in supply and demand across small geographical areas – the map would look like a patchwork quilt rather than a plain blanket. It’s for this reason that valuers are earning their keep at the moment.

So I was surprised recently when compiling a report from regional sources to see a consistent trend. Broadly speaking, buyer activity is up and this is beginning to feed through to sales.

Houses prices are continuing to fall but more slowly, and large numbers of repossessions are damping down the marketOf course, even within a region fortunes vary widely between towns and we may be seeing a normal seasonal uplift.

So no green shoots message from me but I’d venture that there are a few seeds lying around waiting to germinate.



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