A series of new officers, combined with a pick-up in the economy, means something of a fresh start for the profession, but lessons learned from the past few years need to be heeded, says TOM DUNNE.

The content of the summer edition of the Surveyors Journal points to a lot of change for the SCSI. There is a new President, a new Director General and planning is underway for the development of a new strategy for the organisation.
The content also points to change in the environment in which Chartered Surveyors practise. Without doubt, after too many lean years, there is a very welcome economic pick-up. Surveyors are definitely busier but this is not yet being experienced uniformly throughout the country, with those practising in larger urban areas benefiting most. Happily, output in the construction sector, which is still well below a sustainable 12% of GNP, is expected to grow for the next couple of years, and a shortage of housing and offices points to an urgent need for new supply. Certainly the future looks brighter now than has been the case for many years.
As ever, there are changes in the legislative and regulatory environment. A new Planning Bill seeks to establish the Office of the Planning Regulator, and members will be interested to read Margaret Austin’s piece on this. Ed Carey looks at the changing landscape for valuers and the rules affecting the way valuations are undertaken following the 2012 Central Bank of Ireland ‘Lessons Learned’ document. This stated that there were many weaknesses in processes around secured lending, and identified a lack of appreciation of the significance of the valuation document as independent evidence of risk mitigation effectiveness. Non-valuers will be interested in this synopsis of the issues.
Finally, Robert McHugh points to a return to rent reviews in the commercial property market, surely an indicator of change, and Tom Power’s piece on the pros and cons of rent control will provide food for thought and, perhaps more importantly, caution in the light of the recent announcement by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government on temporary rent controls.

Tom Dunne

Tom Dunne