EUROPE - The European Group of Valuers Association (TEGoVA) has launched a valuation standards document to help professionals and clients deal with the valuation challenges brought about by the economic recession.

The European Valuation Standards (EVS) 2009 report addresses the impact of market volatility and European Union legislation on property valuations, and encourages the adoption of European benchmark standards to help generate confidence in the marketplace.

"Moves to open up cross-border investment like the EU Real Estate Investment Trust, the EU passport for open-ended real estate funds and the mortgage credit initiative all have important valuation issues," claimed Roger Messenger, chairman for TEGoVA.

 "EVS 2009, compatible with EU law and adapted to the particular circumstances prevailing in Europe, is central to this process which could see the European Union emerge with the largest and most efficient property market in the world," he added.

The document aims to educate valuers and promote consistency by providing standard definitions of value and approaches to valuation and hopes to increase awareness of valuers' roles.

The EVS 2009 sets out five core standards covering basic, ethical and technical issues:

EVS1 covering market value; EVS2 covering other bases of value; EVS3 addressing the qualified valuer; EVS4 applying to the valuation process, and EVS5 on valuation reporting

According to TEGoVA, guidance notes on individual property sectors, topical issues and country specific legislation will soon supplement the EVS 2009 report.

TEGoVA, which covers 39 bodies in 24 countries, is amongst those campaigning for an EU REIT. It believes an EU REIT would facilitate pan-European investment by reducing the impediments to specialisation, distorted competition and the disadvantages to smaller member states.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) also announced this week it has begun a "global consultation" to develop regulatory framework for valuation practices to raise standards and improve clients' confidence.

Mark Gerold, a spokesperson for RICS, said: "The value of property is the key component which underpins economic activity. The current financial turmoil highlights the need for raising standards to ensure a stabilising foundation for future economic development."

If approved, all RICS members involved in valuation of commercial and residential property would be monitored regularly.

RICS also proposed implementing an accreditation scheme for RICS valuers that would require re-accreditation every three years.

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