Dead­line close for val­u­a­tion ob­jec­tions

Cape Town prop­erty own­ers have one week in which to pull out all the stops in lodg­ing mu­nic­i­pal val­u­a­tion ob­jec­tions, writes Anna-Marie Smith

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

WITH lit­tle time left to sub­stan­ti­ate ob­jec­tions to mu­nic­i­pal val­u­a­tions by April 30, sev­eral ser­vices re­main at the dis­posal of prop­erty own­ers. Con­sumers can ac­cess a time-ef­fi­cient, com­pre­hen­sive on­line prop­erty eval­u­a­tion re­port ser­vice such as of­fered by PropIQ, or seek the as­sis­tance of­fered by lo­cal prop­erty agents will­ing to sub­stan­ti­ate his­toric, mar­ket re­lated in­for­ma­tion in writ­ing.

Cape Town’s 2009 gen­eral val­u­a­tion roll, which has been open to pub­lic in­spec­tion and ob­jec­tion at 18 pub­lic venues since 22 Fe­bru­ary, in­cludes 780 000 prop­er­ties in the Cape Metropole.

This new val­u­a­tion roll, to be used as a ba­sis for prop­erty rates from July this year for the next three to four years, pro­vided prop­erty own­ers with a 60-day ob­jec- tion pe­riod to val­u­a­tions be­lieved to be in­cor­rect. The city says ob­jec­tions may re­late to any in­for­ma­tion dis­played on the val­u­a­tion roll, pro­vid­ing it is sub­stan­ti­ated by fac­tual in­for­ma­tion.

Christo­pher Ga­vor, di­rec­tor of the City Val­u­a­tion Of­fice, says: “Our aim is to come up with a val­u­a­tion roll that is ac­cept­able to all res­i­dents and prop­erty own­ers, be­cause the val­ues are fair and eq­ui­table and re­flect mar­ket con­di­tions as at the date of val­u­a­tion (1 July 2009).”

Ga­vor said that in ad­di­tion, sta­tis­ti­cal con­trol mea­sures will be used to make sure the re­sults con­form to in­ter­na­tional stan­dards for mass ap­praisals, and val­uers will an­a­lyse whether the val­ues gen­er­ated re­flect mar­ket con­di­tions as at the date of val­u­a­tion.

PropIQ, a pro­fes­sional on­line ser­vice provider, launched a user- friendly prop­erty eval­u­a­tion ser­vice on March 1, mainly tar­get­ing prop­erty pro­fes­sion­als, as well as buy­ers and sell­ers.

PropIQ man­ager Colin Day says the ser­vice gives cus­tomers the abil­ity to ob­tain not only mar­ket-re­lated val­ues of sin­gle prop­er­ties, but also those of neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties.

For a fee, and by sim­ply com­plet­ing a street ad­dress and area code, con­sumers can ob­tain a com­pre­hen­sive eval­u­a­tion re­port within min­utes.

This re­port in­cludes three dif­fer­ent val­ues, namely “ex­pected high” sup­ported by a con­fi­dence level fig­ure, an “es­ti­mated value” sup­ported by an “ac­cu­racy score” in per­cent­age points, and “ex­pected low” sup­ported by a “safety score” in per­cent­age points.

The “es­ti­mated value” is de­rived from a so­phis­ti­cated statis- tical cal­cu­la­tion of val­ues from var­i­ous sources, in­clud­ing the Sur­veyor-Gen­eral Of­fice Deeds Of­fice of re­cent sales in the area, banks and es­tate agents.

Serv­ing the pur­pose of a guide­line, it should ide­ally be used with other avail­able in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing im­prove­ment or de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of the prop­erty/dwelling since the last sale.

The “safety score” is the per­cent­age of prob­a­bil­ity that the “es­ti­mated value” is rea­son­able and not over-in­flated. Es­pe­cially use­ful to len­ders, it en­sures bond amounts are rea­son­able for the prop­erty, and a score ex­ceed­ing 70% is con­sid­ered high.

The “ac­cu­racy score” is an­other sta­tis­ti­cal fig­ure that de­ter­mines the prob­a­bil­ity that the “es­ti­mated value” will be within 20% of the sell­ing price, es­pe­cially use­ful for buy­ers and sell­ers, and a score over 60% is con­sid­ered high.

PropIQ’s eval­u­a­tion re­port in­cludes most in­for­ma­tion re­quired to com­plete an ob­jec­tion form, and for buy­ers, sell­ers or prop­erty pro­fes­sion­als it also pro­vides a list of lo­cal ameni­ties, fi­nan­cial and trans­fer his­tory of the prop­erty.

Also in­cluded in the re­port are use­ful bar graphs il­lus­trat­ing sub­ur­ban trends, av­er­age prop­erty prices and num­ber of sales in the area for the past six years.

Es­tate agents in and around Cape Town have been in­un­dated with re­quests for as­sis­tance, and some are of­fer­ing free ser­vices in sup­port­ing eval­u­a­tion ob­jec­tions on be­half of prop­erty own­ers.

Keith Searle of Pam Gold­ing Fish Hoek, who sold R16,5m worth of prop­erty be­tween Jan­uary and March this year, says own­ers of va­cant plots on the Fish Hoek “moun­tain­side”, where no ac­cess roads or coun­cil ser­vices ex­ist, are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing highly in­flated mu­nic­i­pal eval­u­a­tions. Searle says that where val­ues, sales trends and mar­ket pat­terns can be sub­stan­ti­ated, his of­fice has supplied doc­u­mented ev­i­dence to prove in­flated val­ues.

Ga­vor, speak­ing for the city, said: “I be­lieve we have done all we can, given the huge chal­lenges, to en­sure a fair, uni­form and trans­par­ent gen­eral val­u­a­tion. We have put in the hard slog, we have tested our sys­tems, and we are con­fi­dent that the end re­sult will be re­ceived with due re­gard for the fair­ness of the process.”

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