Our Methods

Replacement cost valuations

Also known as estimated new replacement cost, this determines a property’s insurance value. This means the cost of replacing the building and all other permanent improvements that constitute the property – as if new – at prices applicable on the date of valuation.
Permanent improvements include swimming pools, tennis courts, patios, paving, terraces, driveways, paths, septic tanks, watercourses, boundary or retaining walls, drains, gates, fences, as well as water, sewerage, gas, electricity and telecommunication connections for which the owner is legally responsible.
Also included are the reasonable costs incurred as a result of damage. These include fees for architects, quantity surveyors, consulting engineers, demolition, rubble removal, re-construction and compliance with the requirements of the authorities. Excluded are the cost of land, earthen structures, plants, trees, dam walls, piers, jetties, bridges and culverts, as well as financing fees and loss of revenue.
Replacement cost is estimated by researching the current construction cost in the specific location, as construction costs can differ vastly between geographical locations. It is assumed that tenders will be called for from suitable contractors and impartially awarded.
Apart from the cost of construction, the building rate per square metre includes the cost of additional building services, such as electrical installations, electronic installations and fire protection installations.

Sectional title valuations

The body corporate must insure the built sections and common property to the replacement value thereof. The standard valuation procedure entails measuring up and quantifying all common property and registered sections, taking into account the standard of workmanship and finishes as observed in a representative sample unit. The participation schedule, as approved by the Surveyor-General, provides the registered section sizes. The valuer also references the approved sectional plans in determining which structures and areas fall under the body corporate’s responsibility. By definition, the body corporate is responsible for all areas outside of the median line that runs through the outer walls, ceilings and floors of the registered sections, such as exterior wall surfaces, doors, windows, roofs, geysers.
The body corporate is NOT responsible for insuring owner-installed unit upgrades, such as swimming pools, lapas, awnings, carports, air-conditioning systems, security features, luxury interior finishes etc. The onus is therefore on the individual owners to report to the trustees the replacement cost of their unit upgrades which they wish to be included in the body corporate policy for their own account. On special request, Mirfin will assist owners in assessing the value of their unit upgrades. This special service attracts an additional fee, and the owners concerned must enable full access to their unit on the date of inspection.


The valuation excludes any alterations not reflecting on the latest approved sectional plan as it can be assumed that they are not approved by the council and therefore illegal and possibly uninsurable.

Market price valuations

A market price valuation determines the estimated amount for which a property should exchange on the date of valuation between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arms-length transaction after proper marketing wherein the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently and without compulsion.
A property’s market valuation takes into account the value of the land and its improvements, its state of maintenance, desirability, accessibility and location relative to shopping centres, schools, medical facilities, major nodes and arteries etc.

There are three methods in estimating the market value of a property:

  1. The Cost approach values a property on the basis of what it would cost to build the property today, taking into consideration the depreciation by various factors.
  2. The Income Capitalisation approach considers the value of the income stream that a property generates or could generate. This method typically applies to commercial or income-generating properties.
  3. The Comparable Sales approach entails the analysis of recent comparable sales of physically and legally similar properties in the general vicinity of the subject property. This method typically applies to single family homes and land.

The valuer selects which approach – or combination of them – would be most suitable for determining fair market value, depending on the location and intended use of the property.