AN OBSERVATION


2018, a busy year that often took me away from this blog, but it seems I’m finishing with a flurry of activity.


Yesterday, I found myself defending real estate valuers on Twitter when an article suggested many of them in the UK are valuing commercial properties too high for their clients. I mentioned this was not my experience as a valuer in Australia where the vast majority of valuers always use current sales evidence, even when the market is in decline, and most were honorable and professional people.  

I do remember, however, when the 1991 downturn hit Melbourne, there was one particular valuer notable for being too amenable to his clients’ wishes: but I’m not being a Pollyanna in saying there was no more than a handful of such bods.

On a different tack, I’m certain that valuers have a better grip on what the economy’s up to than most economists. Valuers are in the market that dictates the direction of the economy, and they can see what’s going on. Not so, economists: the land market is almost invisible to them.

On reflection for that matter, most seasoned real estate agents, too, have a better understanding of the economy than economists.

Why then do governments look only to economists for advice and guidance? Maybe because economists have such a cosy rapport with banking and finance that they’ll never blow the whistle on lax credit standards creating land price bubbles – and super-profits for banksters (at least until the bubble bursts)?