Valuation services need to be in line with internationally accepted practices and standards, to accurately gauge the value of land, relative to the rest of the global real estate market.
This was noted by President Jioji Konrote at the recent Commonwealth Heads of Valuation Agencies Conference in Nadi, where Fiji became the first Oceanic nation to host the meet.
“And when we do have accurate, detailed information, we cannot only use that as a measure of how far an economy has come, but as a predictor for where it is headed,” he said, adding that it was also essential that valuers have the expertise and knowledge to operate in local markets.
“International qualifications are essential, but not sufficient. Without knowledge of the local market, valuations can’t contribute effectively to a stable real estate sector.”
He also highlighted that more specialization was necessary in function that were likely to rise in demand in the real estate sector, and called for a shared commitment from Commonwealth nations to map out a clear path forward, to set high valuation standards.
“Not even a decade ago, the global economy faced catastrophe due to poor regulation and management in the real estate sector,” he said.
“And I don’t have to explain in detail how damaging poor regulation of real estate markets can be for a nation’s development. Of course, when properly managed it can be a source of enormous economic prosperity, but that does not come without some risks.”
President Konrote noted that the global economy revolved around the use of land, natural resources, properties, and other assets, and cited the Fijian Government’s implementation of the Land Bank policy into its economic agenda, saying it ensured local landowners received leases valued at current market rates.
“Landowners also receive 100 per cent of lease monies. On the flip side of the coin, the tenants are able to secure long-term leases of up to 99 years, so that they can feel secure on the land they reside on and make long-term investments that benefit themselves and the generations that follow. Fiji’s Land Bank policy is a non-zero sum game. It empowers landowners and tenants alike, and the ultimate winner is the Fijian economy.
“As members of the valuation profession, this policy has particular relevance for all of you, because the model relies on accurate and up-to-date information on the value of land and land resources. And beyond our own borders, all throughout the developing world, as countries introduce and expand valuation legislation and accelerate land development, we are seeing a growing demand for professional expertise in valuation.”
He also noted the opportunity the conference offered for Government Valuers to deepen their cooperation with State figures when determining property valuations, saying it was vital work that would help determine municipal ratings, property taxes, asset values, compensation, and other functions essential to comprehensive and effective land management.
“That work does not only impact valuers, it also extends to real estate agents, property developers and estate managers. All of whom need to work alongside governments to sustainably manage land resources.
The Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources’ Permanent Secretary, Malakai Finau also cited the conference’s role in helping the country formulate the Fiji Lands Valuation Act.
“As the Fijian Government looks to formulate the Fiji Land Valuation Act, this conference paves the opportunity for us as well to hear presentations which involve ways the various agencies have improved valuation outcomes and include innovations to the valuation process for instance, automated valuation models,” he said.
“Your roles as valuers are crucial components in the larger land management machinery and this conference sets the platform for conducive discussions focussing on shaping the valuation profession for the future of all Commonwealth nations.
“It is indeed the best possible conduit we, here in Fiji can revert to specifically design suitable policy and operational needs of valuation agencies such as the Chief Valuers Office and Valuation Division of Fiji.” The conference is the first to be held in the Pacific region.
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