Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 11 May 1950

Vol. 120 No. 15

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Valuation of Houses.

asked the Minister for Local Government whether he is aware that there is still grave dissatisfaction at the value being placed on new houses for the purposes of loans under the Small Dwellings (Acquisition) Acts by the Dublin Corporation and County Council, and if he will state in detail the method used by the valuers to arrive at these valuations and the basis of appointment and the qualifications of the valuers acting for the corporation and county council; and if he will consider having the valuations made by a quantity surveyor with a view to having the valuations related to the cost of construction.

I am not aware that there is grave dissatisfaction at the value being placed on new houses for the purposes of loans under the Small Dwellings (Acquisition) Acts by the Dublin Corporation. In the case of Dublin County there has been some dissatisfaction with valuations, but I am informed that the number of withdrawals of loan applications in this area for all reasons is insignificant. The valuers are obliged by law to ascertain the market value of the house on which a loan is to be made, that is to say, the price which a willing purchaser would pay in the open market.

The valuers are appointed by the city and county manager and are paid on a fee basis. The valuer employed by the corporation is an auctioneer with experience of valuation work. He has been employed by the corporation in this capacity since 1932. The county council valuer has also been employed since 1932 and has had previous experience as a valuer.

The appointment of a valuer is a matter primarily for the city and county manager. There is nothing to make a quantity surveyor ineligible, if he has had suitable experience as a valuer, but, as the law stands, the basic principle on which the houses would be valued would remain the market value and not the cost of construction.

If I inform the Minister that there is grave dissatisfaction, will he accept that from me? Secondly, is the 1932 valuation the valuation that is still being applied to these particular houses? May I ask the Minister, further, if he is aware that the valuation put on some houses would not represent the materials in the houses and the wages expended in building the houses?

I am not saying that it is the 1932 valuation that stands but that the two gentlemen engaged in the county and city have had experience since 1932. They are both experienced in valuation work and I have no reason to assume that their experience in the years has lessened their ability to do the work satisfactorily. As to whether or not there is grave dissatisfaction, I can only go on the evidence of the infinitesimal number of withdrawals of applications for loans. I have no other evidence before me.

Would the Minister be prepared to consider a couple of test cases—the actual houses, the money expended on wages and materials and the valuation placed on the houses by the corporation valuer?

I am afraid that that does not arise. It is a matter for the corporation. It is the corporation that employs the valuers. I would have to get very definite evidence that there was miscalculation or grave error before I would start to interfere with the corporation and the people they employ as valuers.

Mr. Byrne

asked the Minister for Local Government whether he is aware that the Dublin Corporation's method of valuation for the purpose of making advances to persons building their own homes under the Small Dwellings (Acquisition) Acts, 1899 to 1948, continues to cause dissatisfaction, and that in some cases the reduced loans offered are due to the excessive ground rents charged for sites; and if he will state whether the promised proposals for legislation to amend the Acts will be introduced at an early date.

The corporation's method of determining valuation for the purpose of fixing the amount of loans to be advanced under the Small Dwellings (Acquisition) Acts, 1899 to 1948, is based on the legal requirement that the value of the house which is the subject of an application for a loan shall be the amount which in the opinion of the local authority is the market value of the ownership. The amount of the ground rent is, of course, an integral factor in the assessment of market value.

Legislation bearing on these matters is under consideration and will, I hope, be introduced in the present session of the Dáil.