New process agreed for valuation of high-rise buildings

Jessica Nangle

December 16, 2019

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Building Societies Association (BSA), and UK Finance have today agreed a new industry-wide valuation process.

This process will help people buy and sell homes and remortgage in buildings above 18 metres, the equivalent of six storeys.

The industry is encouraging the owners of these buildings to proactively pursue independent testing of external wall materials to safely speed up the process for buyers and sellers.

The new industry-wide process, agreed by RICS, the BSA and UK Finance, is to be used by valuers, lenders, building owners and fire safety experts in the valuation of high-rise properties.

The new External Wall Fire Review process will require a fire safety assessment to be conducted by a suitably qualified and competent professional delivering assurance for lenders, valuers, residents, buyers and sellers.

The review has been developed through consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including fire engineers, lenders, valuers, and other cross industry representatives.

Only one assessment will be needed for each building and this will be valid for five years.

Charlie Blagbrough, BSA Policy Manager, said: “This new industry process is the result of substantial consultation across the housing industry and government.

“It takes into account the range of external wall materials that are in use on apartment buildings and will now be used industry-wide.

“Ensuring the safety and security of those selling, purchasing and living in high-rise homes remains paramount.

“However, we expect that this new process will instil confidence to enable surveyors to value, lenders to lend, and ultimately keep the high-rise property market flowing.”

John Baguley, tangible assets valuation director at RICS, added: “RICS have worked with stakeholders across industry and MHCLG, to jointly create a standardised approach between valuers and lenders that will ease current issues in the high rise property market.

“To unclog areas of the market, a qualified and experienced fire safety expert will be appointed by the building owner to provide a report on the buildings cladding, and associated wall system, as an additional part of the valuation process.

“This will ensure safety, and will also ultimately allow the high rise property market to function properly.”

Matthew Jupp, policy manager at UK Finance, said: “The independent valuation has a key role to play in the home-buying process, helping to deliver assurance to all parties involved that a property is both safe and secure.

“The External Wall Fire Review is an industry-wide initiative that will further support the buying and selling of homes in this section of the market.”

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