Land valuation is the most common appraisal assignment. An appraiser uses different method of valuation taking in consideration the purpose of the appraisal. But land differs in sizes, shapes and probable uses that an appraiser should look up to. Land which is large enough has different characteristics that warrants equal if not special attention. Besides, large tract of land requires more data and sets of comparable in using sales comparison method to arrive in a reliable and defensible market value.
An appraisal technique seldom used by appraisers in determining value of large tracts of land is the subdivision or development approach. This technique determines market value by subtracting the costs of developing a potential subdivision from its anticipated proceeds, and discounts the remainder to arrive at present value as of the date of the appraisal.
In using this technique, an appraiser should prepare a subdivision lay-out to determine the number, size and shape of lots. Through research estimate prices of lot; rental rate per square meters if improved with buildings; the development cost and developers profit and the income stream discounted to the present and arrive in its market value.
Often, land value estimates emanating from the subdivision or development approach are significantly lower than those correspondingly derived from the sales comparison approach with a lower lot sizes and different uses. In theory, if both the development method and sales comparison approach were applied correctly, the value estimates should be similar. Nonetheless, the process of reconciliation of different approaches, the appraiser should give weight to the method which is more reliable and justifiable than the other.
In the whole process of the development method of appraisal, the experience, skill and judgment of the appraiser will play with paramount of importance. There are number of methods and techniques available for the appraisers to explore and gain expertise in the practice of profession. Through our innovative effort as an appraiser, we can make an important contribution in popularizing and practicing the subdivision or development approach, in the service of our clientele and to the society.