THE Solomon Islands Valuers Association conducted a workshop with Australian valuers to identify the main challenges in their work and look for ways to improve land valuation processes in Solomon Islands.
The workshop, arranged through the Pacific Community (SPC) with financial assistance from the Government of Australia, brought together licenced valuers from across the Solomon Islands, to meet and learn from Australian valuers David Sullivan, Paul O’Kelly and Steven Venter from International Valuation & Property Services (IVPS).
At the workshop, the valuers discussed criteria that contribute to land values, such as location, topography, services available on the land, the lot area, along with other important factors that influence the market value of land.
Issues raised and discussed at the workshop included the influence of clients, the lack of reliable sales data and the lack of training and formal guidance currently available to valuers in the Solomon Islands.
Speaking after the workshop, Valuer General Joyce Galo said “this was a very useful opportunity to bring valuers together, to point out our mistakes and so we can start to work out how to improve land valuations and stamp duty collection in the future.
“We will be working more closely now with the Inland Revenue Division to identify under-reporting of land valuations, and to ensure that stamp duty is paid based on the transfer consideration of the land, not just the unimproved value of the land.”
SPC’s Alan McNeil highlighted the importance of the workshop, and praised the commitment shown by the Solomon Islands Valuers Association to improve their professional capacity saying, “Valuers to date have lacked the guidance needed to produce reports based on uniform, consistent criteria, and this inevitably has led to questions being raised about the accuracy of land valuations.
“We are now helping valuers to develop a reliable, accurate, and professional system for determining land valuations, as a means of contributing towards national development goals.”
The valuers from IVPS will be engaged by SPC until October, during which time they will assist the Valuer General and her unit to develop stricter criteria on how land is valued in Solomon Islands, which can then be adopted by the valuation profession.