Bank valuations may differ from the price you pay for your property, and for good reason. Let’s look at the factors making up a bank’s valuation, and how it affects what home buyers can afford to borrow.
If you’re buying a property and taking out a home loan, you need to know that bank valuations are different to market valuations and sale prices.
This matters because a bank valuation is used to calculate the loan to value ratio (LVR), which can affect how much you can borrow. A higher LVR means you’re borrowing more of your home’s value, which might leave you vulnerable to rising interest rates.
Bank valuations play a big part in determining your home loan, and whether you’ll be required to pay lender’s mortgage insurance, which protects your lender when you take out a home loan where there’s an increased risk.
What is a bank valuation?
As the name suggests, a bank valuation is an assessment of the value of a property, for your bank.
The valuation considers a number of factors, including the condition of the property and comparable prices in the suburb.
The bank uses the valuation to determine the risk it takes in lending you money. If the bank has valued your property a fair bit below the purchase price, you may need to find extra funds or take out lender’s mortgage insurance.
Bank valuation vs. market valuation
It’s important to note that neither of these are the same as the sale price, the market rate, or other property valuations, such as an estimate from your real estate agent, or automated price estimates you might find on property-related
apps or websites.
Where a market valuation helps you determine a property's actual selling price, a bank valuation helps a lender determine their risks.
- are intended for use by banks only
- may be lower than the purchase price
- take into account a range of risks, including recent market movements and environmental factors.
- are designed for buyers and sellers
- are generally higher, as sellers typically want the best price possible and buyers will be prepared to wait until they find a suitable price
- reflect the market, comparing with other similar properties.
Remember to check the terms and conditions of your home loan with your lender and mortgage broker before you take out a home loan.
You can use AMP home loans tools and calculators to help work out how much you might be able to borrow and what repayments might look like.
Why do banks use their own valuations?
Banks use their valuations to work out the value of your property that will act as security against your home loan. To gain an unbiased estimate on a property’s value, banks most often use an independent valuer for bank valuations.
How banks value properties
Several elements go into making a valuation, including:
- size of the property and land
- number of rooms
- recent sales in the area
- fixtures and fittings.
Different types of property valuation
This is the most comprehensive method, and usually used if there’s a higher perceived risk to the bank. The valuer inspects the property inside and out, and writes up a report for the bank including photos, the age of the property, its condition and zoning restrictions.
This is an external inspection which may take into account recent sales in the area, but not special internal features, such as renovations.
Based on comparable sales data, this valuation doesn’t involve a physical inspection of the property.
Automated valuation model
This is a system-generated, statistically-based valuation, using the property attributes and comparable sales data.
How much does a bank property valuation cost and how long does it take?
Costs vary, but you can expect to pay from $200 to $600, although the bank may cover the valuation on your behalf.
The time it takes for a valuation to be completed depends on your bank (and the availability of its valuer), how quickly the vendor allows access to the property, and whether a full valuation is required.
A straightforward kerbside or desktop valuation may take a day or so. If a full valuation is needed, this could take up to seven working days.
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What you need to know
Any advice and information is provided by AWM Services Pty Ltd ABN 15 139 353 496, AFSL No. 366121 (AWM Services) and is general in nature. It hasn’t taken your financial or personal circumstances into account.
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