An interview with Luke Liplijn about the launch of the Desktop Valuation

With the Homematrix Desktop Valuation from Matrixian Group, introduced at the beginning of September, consumers can receive a fully automated valuation report within four hours, without the need for a physical inspection by an appraiser. The report will also include the (future) climate risks of the home later this year.

The Amsterdam data and AI company in the real estate sector has long been providing comprehensive and accurate real estate data services to companies and professionals in the Netherlands and abroad. With the introduction of the Desktop Valuation, Matrixian is expanding its working area to the private residential market. Luke Liplijn is the founder and CEO of Matrixian Group. He started the company seven years ago.

As an architectural engineer, Liplijn was always interested in the (technical) characteristics of a building. But he wanted to know more and more and now the whole of the Netherlands is in 3D in Matrixian’s systems. In that real estate database, every home in the Netherlands has more than 600 characteristics, collected from various sources. By combining this large amount of home data with artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), the Homematrix Desktop Valuation can fully automatically determine the value of a home within a few seconds. A local appraiser validates this model value and then selects the most suitable reference homes. The consumer will then receive the complete valuation report by e-mail, possibly in the corporate identity of the consultancy firm. This not only contains the market value but also a cadastral map, construction data, the property notice, and information about the energy label. The entire process from application to complete valuation report takes a maximum of four hours.

The Automated Valuation Model (AVM) developed by Matrixian forms the basis of the valuations. This model can calculate the market value of homes for 42 countries to support appraisal and mortgage lending processes. The data used for this goes back to 1995. For the Homematrix Desktop Valuation, Matrixian has entered into a partnership with a national network of appraisers. Several lenders have shown interest and testing is already underway with two parties. The first lender is expected to accept data technology company Matrixian’s new desktop valuation service this month. In addition to the desktop valuation, Homematrix also offers the services of Home Value Report and WOZ Report.

Luke Liplijn: The popularity of the desktop valuation will increase rapidly

Climate risks mapped out  

Every month the real estate database is updated from more than sixty different sources. Liplijn: “This large number of sources brings together a lot of information and we can zoom in very deeply on the characteristics of each building.” When assessing a value, we not only look at the past, but also at the future. Looking ahead, energy consumption will increase. and climate risks, for example, are playing an increasingly important role in the valuation. That is why the climate chapter is not an appendix, but a permanent part of Matrixian’s Desktop valuation from the end of 2023.”

The Limburg flood in 2021, the series of heavy to very heavy storms that swept across our country in recent years, and the increased risk of heavy rain, have made it clear that it matters where and how you live. To this end, Matrixian has mapped out the climate risks for every Dutch home and divided them into environmental risks and building risks. According to the company, this information is crucial for the home value calculation. Matrixian’s desktop valuation will be further expanded in the future with advice on sustainability or value-increasing home investments.

More choice is good 

In the Netherlands, we have had the Calcasa Desktop Valuation for some time. This was introduced in 2021 in response to the European Guidelines, which prescribe that only a model-based valuation below 90% of the debt-market value ratio is no longer permitted for granting a mortgage. According to the EU Guidelines, the model-based value must also be assessed by an expert. Liplijn thinks it is good that there is more choice. “The locally oriented appraisers we work with are compliant with the NVRT rules and are in control when it comes to substantiating the digital valuation.” The Homematrix Desktop Valuation also provides more background information, including the ownership message as standard. By adding attachments that are normally also included with a physical valuation report, the Homematrix Desktop Valuation comes closest to the physical valuation. In addition, we will also distinguish ourselves later this year with the aforementioned sustainability section,” says Liplijn.

Link with real estate agents 

The data technology company AvixNL supplies the automated home values. At the end of last year, Matrixian Group purchased the equity interest (49%) of trade association VBO Makelaar and the equity interest (2%) of Hans Mersmann, program director at Erasmus University, in this joint venture. This made it the sole shareholder and director. AvixNL has a database with more than 10 million data points of homes that are used for the model-based valuation of real estate and online home appraisals. Liplijn: “That acquisition marked an important step in our ambition to digitize every real estate object in the Netherlands and to link all systems and data sources. This way, our customers receive maximum assistance in finding, valuing, and analyzing real estate.” Hans Mersmann also continues to use his knowledge of the mortgage market for Matrixian Group to further develop the technology behind model-based valuation. The Matrixian model values ​​are also periodically tested by Erasmus University.

The Dekstop Valuation is gaining ground 

The Dutch Register of Real Estate Appraisers (NRVT) sets strict requirements for desktop valuations. As with the physical valuation, the Registered Appraiser must also determine the value for the desktop variant himself. Moreover, he must record the way in which he arrived at that value in a clear, traceable, and reproducible manner in his valuation file. NRVT also refers to this as the self-activity of the Registered Appraiser. Liplijn emphasizes that the rules of the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the NRVT are respected and complied with for the Matrixians Desktop valuation. “The quality of our property data is really very high and the results from our Desktop Valuation process are verifiable, traceable and ISAE3402 type II audited. For example, the local appraiser has the option to select reference transactions himself, add an explanation, and sign the valuation. As a professional, the appraiser always has the opportunity to make adjustments at crucial audit points in the automatic valuation.”

According to Liplijn, this new ‘Uber model’ paves the way for a further rise in desktop valuation. Liplijn: “The desktop valuation is suitable for regular homes. Mortgage applications for new-build homes, unique farms in the polder or homes with a value of more than one million euros still require a valuation with a physical property inspection. However, the number of homes in this category does not exceed 20% of all home sales. The desktop valuation can therefore be applied in 80% of mortgage applications.” Liplijn predicts that the popularity of the desktop valuation will increase rapidly and that in the near future, it will also be used for financing more than 90% of the purchase price.

“The desktop valuation is another novelty that is being received differently by current market players. Whether it concerns bank representatives, real estate agents, appraisers, or consumers, everyone has a strong opinion about this development, often based on their own background and interests. As with any disruptive development, the market will have to find a new balance,” says Liplijn. “The desktop valuation contributes positively to the acceleration of the mortgage application and that contribution will only increase.”