Its 2013, six years after the height of the boom and the Irish banks are making lots of noise about turning their legal guns on estate agents and valuers for hyper-inflated property valuations dating back to the boom. But it all smacked of a lacklustre effort to beat the Statute of Limitations by initiating a raft of writs against estate agents for overvaluing properties which apparently led to the banks over lending before the claims became statute barred. So where are all the High Court cases? Well they are few and far between. Investec sued Jones Lang in 2013 for €17m based on an apparent overvaluation by JLL of St Patricks Athletic's grounds with much fanfare yet nothing has happened on the High Court claim since June 2014. A claim going nowhere then. You would have thought many more estate agents/valuers would have been sued by banks and borrowers alike arising from frothy valuations dating between 2006 - 2008. Yet they are as rare as hen's teeth. The same valuers started to work for NAMA and the banks from 2009/2010 - which must have curbed wholesale legal action against valuers. An Irish solution to an Irish problem.
The valuation put the property at €33m, or up to €45m if the lands were zoned residential and commercial. Investec Bank plc claims the correct value of the lands in October 2007 was between €5-7m but, based on the JLL valuation of €33m, it made loans, secured on the lands, of some €18m to a company of property developer Garrett Kelleher with a view to developing the lands. Three years later, in October 2010, Des Lennon of JLL put a rough estimated value on the same lands, whose zoning had not been altered in the interim, at less than €1m, the bank claims. The bank claims it was later advised that JLL had in October 2007 "grossly overvalued" the lands and there were "material flaws" in the methodology adopted by the firm in carrying out that valuation.