Aucklanders lash out at QV over housing valuations

Author
Anne Gibson, NZ Herald,
Section
Business,
Publish Date
Thursday, 19 July 2018, 11:46a.m.
Many Aucklanders appear to agree to this sentiment, with numerous Herald readers expressing annoyance at their experiences with Quotable Value. Photo \ NZ Herald
Many Aucklanders appear to agree to this sentiment, with numerous Herald readers expressing annoyance at their experiences with Quotable Value. Photo \ NZ Herald

Auckland homeowners have come forward to share stories of their frustrations in dealing with the state-owned enterprise responsible for valuing homes.

This follows a Herald article published yesterday, outlining that thousands of Aucklanders were still waiting to have their valuation objections processed by Quotable Value.

This situation has led to criticism from Auckland Council, which has accused Quotable Value of not doing its job properly.

Many Aucklanders appear to agree to this sentiment, with numerous Herald readers expressing annoyance at their experiences with Quotable Value.

Here's what Aucklanders had to say:

Not so robust

One Aucklander told of how she objected about what she considered was a high valuation.

She subsequently told the council what she thought the property was worth and asked that it be cut.

QV agreed and immediately lowered the value by the precise amount she sought.

This caused her to wonder how robust the process was if her own estimate turned out to be the exact reduction QV used.

Missed auction

Another Aucklander told of a valuer, recommended through a bank, putting what he considered a low value on a North Shore house he wanted to buy. 

Bidding at the auction rose fast, and he missed out on buying it.

Wondering how the valuer got it so wrong, he checked the background of the valuer and found he was a specialist in east Auckland commercial property, not North Shore residential. 

He confronted the valuer and the fee was waived, but the house had gone to another buyer.

"My wife was devastated at missing out on the house and remains highly distrustful of the valuation process," he told the Herald.

Low valuation

Another reader, named Will, told of his property that was revalued last year for more than $1.2 million below a private market valuation he got.

"We objected in November. I had to threaten legal action to get a resolution just days ago. And yet they've still only increased it by $500,000. I still don't believe anyone has ever visited the site," he said.

"We have been trying to sell this property and buyers have pulled out citing the low CV. The costs have been significant, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of interest payments and there is no recourse."

He adds that the issue doesn't only impact his property.

"Strangely enough, the entire street this property is on didn't go up in value by more than about 5 per cent, while immediately adjacent properties on another street went up over 30 per cent," he said.


Valuer based in England

Upon requesting a review for his valuation, a reader named Ted discovered that the valuer didn't even live in New Zealand.

"I objected to [my valuation because] I thought it was undervalued big time," he said in an email.

"I got an email from Quotable Value saying it had been done and the council would be in touch. Had heard nothing so I thought I would chase this woman who sent me the email."

He then discovered that she hadn't been in New Zealand for two years and had been doing valuations on a contract basis from England.

"How could you get the lay of the land when you are not here?"


Valuer struggles with objection

A valuer of 22 years said he wanted to share his experience about a rental property in Papatoetoe which he and his wife own. The valuation was too high, he said, so he contacted the council, then QV, for a copy of the valuation.

"Twice the call went to the Hamilton office. Finally, I spoke to the person responsible for the valuation. First, he tried to tell me our land and the one next door were about the same. After a short discussion, it was apparent no one had even looked at the objection properly, if at all."

The problems didn't end there.

"He didn't have a copy of the objection but agreed to email some notes which never arrived," the email says.

"He said the council had previously rejected a lot of the land value changes so they didn't bother changing them anymore. He said they [QV] were probably going to lose the contract anyway."

The homeowner said that this was particularly frustrating given how easily the matter could have been resolved.

"My objection, which could have been sorted out by a competent person in five to 15 minutes, is now lodged with the Land Valuation Tribunal which is a waste of my time and money and their time and money," he said.

Site visit from driveway

Nick said he objected to his valuation and subsequently claimed the QV valuer only did a driveway inspection of his property, which he complained was not thorough. He sent a video of that inspection.

"She jumped out of her car, took a photo and was driving off. That was her inspection of my house. From the time I exposed her, she shut me down and would not listen to reason. The valuation is a joke. Even a layman could do a better job. Her argument that the house is based on sales value did not take into account the significant value added," Nick said.

Comment has been sought from Quotable Value about the cases from readers. A spokesman said he would not comment on any of the cases.

Yesterday, a spokesman said the state-owned enterprise would not be responding to Auckland Council officers' criticism that QV had breached its legislative and contractual requirements.

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