- March 1, 2009: Vol. 3, Number 3

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The Known Unknown

by Professor Andrew Baum

Rating agencies appear to have played a leading role in the current crisis that the real estate market in the United Kingdom finds itself in by overestimating the credit risk of property-backed debt instruments. The public should be able to expect — and to be protected by — the objective exercise of professional judgement by a responsible and regulated group, and the rating agencies failed in this regard. Did valuers also contribute to the crisis, by failing to discourage banks from lending high proportions of the ramped price of property, and by overestimating the value of property assets and property funds?

The RICS Valuation Faculty Board recently issued clarification on how valuations should be reported in times of valuation uncertainty. As the RICS states, “The valuation of … property in the current market is unusually chal

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