Bank requests for more frequent valuation checks on mortgaged properties are causing a 20 to 30 per cent increase in valuation work, property surveyors say. Real estate agents said that could mean an upsurge soon in the number of bank-foreclosed properties tied to last October's financial crash hitting the sales market. In the prevailing pessimistic economic environment, 'banks are worried about the safety of their investments and are more closely monitoring the values of their mortgaged properties', Ricacorp Properties director of valuation Kenneth Cheung said. Banks usually revalued properties every six to 12 months, but now were doing so every two to three months. 'Most of our new work is revaluation,' he said. Chung Sen Surveyors executive director Cheng Wing-ming said he had yet to see large foreclosure sales, but he expected to see increasing numbers of them soon. Mr Cheng said: 'There is usually a time lag of two to three months between the time when a person defaults on mortgage payments and actual foreclosure, and then four to five months between court-appointed liquidation, independent valuation and the actual sale. So, May should be when the earliest defaults go for sale.' Agents said there was no way to forecast how many foreclosure sales there would be in coming months. They said some investors who had bought at the peak of the market might choose to default rather than hang on, meaning those properties could return to the market through banks. 'But banks would still lose out if they sell properties for which they lent at the peak of the market and they may, in turn, opt to hang on instead,' Mr Cheung said. Foreclosure sale values typically were 10 to 30 per cent below market value.