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Bank of Italy to Inspect Property Valuations

Bank of Italy to Inspect Property Valuations

The Bank of Italy is looking to hire up to five real estate consultants to review whether the country's banks are correctly valuing property used as loan collateral, Reuters reports. 

As the country prepares for a region-wide review from the European Central Bank, collateral valuations remain a main source of uncertainty for Italy's banks amid depressed property market prices. 

"The issue of the correct valuation of collateral is still open and is a very sensitive issue," a senior banker told Reuters, on condition of anonymity. "Banks have already written down the value of collateral but they are wondering: is this enough? At the same time, excessive prudence could have catastrophic consequences, as it would further depress the real estate market."

Bad debt has doubled in Italy since the end of 2010. Real estate activity in Italy has plummeted in recent years.  

The drop in property values has hindered the ability to value the  properties such as factories or warehouses that small and medium-sized enterprises put up as collateral for a loan.  

Possible real estate advisors for the Bank of Italy include Prelios Valuations, part of property group Prelios, and U.S.-based commercial real estate adviser CBRE, according to Reuters. A final decision is expected next month.

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