HSBC sues surveyors over property valuations

Posted: 9/2/2021

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As if surveyors were not already cautious enough about valuing property, they have received yet another reason for keeping valuations low - HSBC has sued Savills (a major GB estate agency) over the issue. HSBC are seeking £15m from Savills on the basis that they negligently overvalued property in north-west London, which the bank says encouraged it to make risky lending decisions. HSBC UK Bank PLC said in a High Court filing on 17 January, which has now been made public, that it wants to retrieve damages from Savills for overstating the value of a £15m property based in the St John’s Wood which was being used as loan collateral at approximately £50m. Claims of over-valuation are rare; residential property is often down-valued by surveyors, despite reaching true market value, i.e. being placed on the open market. This latest threat to valuers will only serve to remind them that it is better to go low, despite what the market is telling them. 

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