Importance of macroeconomic analysis  in real estate practice

Having a view on the macroeconomic trends is critical when analyzing the real estate market. Real estate does not operate in a vacuum. Thus, it is essential for a real estate practitioner to grasp the role of the industry and knows the current events and how macroeconomic affect the real estate market, both in the aggregate supply and demand and the expectation of the buying public.

Real estate plays an important role in the economy. Residential real estate provides housing for families. It is the greatest source of wealth and savings for many families. Commercial real estate, which includes apartment buildings, create jobs and spaces for retail, offices and manufacturing. Real estate business and investment provide a source of revenue for millions.

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Real estate, renting, business and construction are both measured by, and contributes to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As shown in the graph, its growth continues. In 2016, it contributed P1.8 trillion,  13 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. It exceeded its 2000 record of P3.5 trillion. At that time, real estate, renting and business was a hefty 9 percent component of GDP.

Private construction, which is mostly done by property developers and individuals, contributed P1.2 trillion in the gross domestic product. It is one of the contributor in  providing employment and help in lowering  unemployment rate.

Beside GDP, real estate market in the country is fueled by increasing foreign direct investment. Since 2007, the accumulated foreign direct investment totalled to P 2.1 Trillion. Meanwhile, the overseas Filipino workers remittances increases by 17% . From 22 Million in 2013 to $ 26.8 Million in 2016.

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Understanding key real estate relationships has a strategic implication on real estate decision making and portfolio management. The changing real estate environment can be linked to the macro-economy. Knowing the relationship between macroeconomic variables and real estate performance , and knowing whether these links are consistent or changing overtime ca provide a useful tool in leveling up our service to our clients and to our daily real estate practice.

The importance of taking pictures during site inspections

picsIn every site inspection, an appraiser will surely draw cameras to take pictures of the property. As the saying goes, a picture is worth of a thousand words. This holds true in appraisal. Pictures play an important role in the whole process.

Some clients like banks require photos of the properties; but others will ask why there is a need in taking pictures. They are thinking of their privacy. Let’s discuss the importance of taking pictures in the appraisal.

First, it forms part of the appraisal process. In every appraisal report, you can notice pictures of the property in the annexes or addendum of the report. This helps the appraiser in telling the story of the house and will support the valuation and assumptions provided in the report. Photos can highlight condition, layout, and quality of a house, building or a tract of land. Since no one except the lender or the property owner will read the report, you are assured of the confidentiality and privacy of your properties.

Second, it serves as back-up to the appraisers’ memory. When an appraiser takes photos, the appraiser can remember what the house was like. For instance, there have been times when I labeled the floor as vinyl during my inspection, but the photos clearly showed the floor was ceramic tile. Or maybe in the sketch showed only four bedrooms, but there were actually five based on my photos. Everyone makes mistakes, and that includes appraisers.

Third, it’s documentation. The pictures will greatly help the appraiser if he will be called to testify in the court or any government proceedings.  Since most litigation requires an appraisal of value at the time of taking, photos can be a tremendous tool to assist the appraiser’s description of the property. Few weeks ago, a client asked me to value a property for litigation purposes, I took pictures of the property. Come court hearing, the judge asked the condition of the property, thus I shared in court the pictures I took during the site inspection.

Now you know why an appraiser takes pictures of the properties. Instead of worrying, help the appraiser take good shots by turning on lights and keeping away dogs.

Using Income Approach in Valuation

finanzmanagementThe income method is seldom used in appraisal. Most probably not used in banking institutions. But how are we sure that we are using the right method in valuing real estate properties? Properties that generate income such as apartment buildings, leasable buildings or even public owned enterprise properties subject for litigation should be appraised using the income approach. Lets dive deeper into this method.

This approach converts the income generated or projected income expected to be generated by a property into an estimate of value using one of two ways:  direct capitalization or discounted cash flows.   Both approaches use two important components:  (1) current or estimated cash flows and (2) a capitalization rate or discount rate.

Estimated cash flows should be realistic enough and comparable to the current and historical financial data of the property.  Additional considerations such as the economy or market trends can also impact estimates.  Future plans to expand or add additional assets to the property should also be considered if this will increase your cash flow generated from the property.

The capitalization rate or discount rate should be determined and derived from market data.  The capitalization rate is used to determine a sales price at a given point in time where factors of the market approach can be used.  The sales price could be a current sales price determined by capitalizing the current year’s net operating income.  Sales price could also be a future sales price determined by capitalizing the estimated net operating income of a future period.  The discount rate is the total rate of return a buyer would require to purchase an investment and is used to discount the estimated future cash flows to a present value because a peso received in the future is worth less than a peso today due to time value of money. The discount rate makes the present value of the property’s future cash flows equal.

An appraisal is extremely beneficial in providing information for valuing property.  Thus, Valuers should strive to level up their professional practice and use different methods to arrive at a justifiable and fair market value. That is, a market value that is fair to all concern.

Took oath anew as Court Commissioner

11150573_1061342033884038_5252473516736476044_nAppraiser Gus took his oath last Friday, September 11, 2015 as one of the Commissioners of a Regional Trial Court in Cebu City. As one of the Commissioner, his duty is to aid the court in determining the exact property affected area and the amount of just compensation to be paid.

“Congratulations to all of you”, the lady judge happily greeted them after the oathtaking ceremony in her office. The other oath-takers were the City Assessor of Carcar, Cebu City and the Clerk of Court.

“I thank the lady-judge and the lawyers who trusted my capacity and chooses me as one of the Commissioner.” Appraiser Gus exclaimed. “With the present composition of Commissioners, the court could render wiser judgment aided by the report of each and everyone of us as Commissioners.”

Appraiser Gus was also chosen as Commissioner by the regional trial court of Lapulapu to determine the fair market value of a property in a dispute. Previously, he also served as an Associate Appraiser in Zonal Revaluation of the BIR Technical Committee in Cebu City.

Metro Manila Appraisal

It was an honor and privilege to be invited by a prestigious and one of the top appraisers company in the land to join their team in appraising property in Metro Manila.

Truly it adds value to my appraisal skills and in running an appraisal company.

Great experience.

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USC held Forum on Entrepreneurship and Management

Appraiser Planner11913087_10205251112898331_1857892936_n Gus Agosto attended the Forum with visiting professors Dr. John Leung from City University of Hongkong and Dr. Brian To from Singapore Management University as speakers. Dr. Leung discussed the topic “Entrepreneurship is Service”, while Dr. Brian To share the topic “Managing Yourself”.

Both professors were distinguished and successful on their own field. Dr. Leung is currently the Director of Executive MBA program, and an Associate Professor of Marketing at City University of Hong Kong. While Dr. Brian To is a Senior Practice Professor of Strategy and Leadership and Senior Wharton Fellow of University of Pennsylvania.

“The more I learn, the more I realize that there are more things I need to learn and discover”, Appraiser Planner Gus said. Gus is also a faculty member of the University of San Carlos.

The forum, organized by the School of Business and Economics, was held last August 24, 2015 in University of San Carlos Downtown Campus.  “The pace of innovation in business are now moving fast, and I want to learn more to provide my clients of top of the line solutions”, Gus ended.