Claims that some estate agents are undervaluing properties because they are using outdated and inaccurate measurement techniques in drawing up floor plans is an ‘over simplification’, according to PAPPA property professionals.

A recent study was said to show that around one in eight floorplans had a measurement discrepancy of at least 100 square feet, on average.

It also claimed that a training initiative by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to improve measurement accuracy is inadequate, in terms of a lack of policing. 

But Chartered Surveyor James Barron, who runs Plymouth-based Barron Surveying Services Ltd, said one of the new breed of PropTech firms behind the claims shouldn’t just focus on one aspect of the property valuation process.

“It is just too simplistic to say that the value depends on the precise measurement of the floor area – a price per square foot,” said James, who is himself an RICS Chartered Building Surveyor.

“The floorplan is just one part of a suite of marketing materials that any reputable estate agent will use in the valuation process. There’s a whole host of other factors to consider, such as the property’s condition and decorative order, location and desirability.”

James said it is far more important to source a properly regulated estate agent with a good industry track record and detailed local knowledge, who will bring the other important elements into play to determine value.

Fellow professional David Monk, of Chartered Building Surveyors Monk and Partners, also in Plymouth, praised the RICS for taking positive action to improve standards of overall property measurement, via a Certified Property Measurer course designed to bring measurements in line with international standards.

He also urged anyone looking for a chartered building surveyor’s services, and that of an estate agent, to use those who are members of PAPPA as they will also keep up to date with modern standards and changing trends in the property industry.

“I was pleased to see that this survey recognised it is the policing of floorplan measurements which is apparently coming up short, rather than the RICS initiative itself, which should be applauded,” said David.

“I also agree with the survey’s assertion that property surveyors should be appropriately certified. You cannot get more appropriately certified than an RICS chartered surveyor so I would urge people to choose them every time.”