Main author

Grant Erskine Architects Architect
Last edited 07 Jan 2016

Land value

This article discusses some of the characteristics of a site that affect it's value, beyond the simple fact that as site is worth " much as someone is willing to pay".


[edit] Size

The ideal developable piece of land is of an adequate size to maximise its potential. For example, think about a site that is too big for 2 houses, but not big enough for 3. Simply building bigger houses, might not solve this problem, as the size of a dwelling is not the only characteristic affecting its price (for example, in some areas the market expects houses of a particular size).

[edit] Proportion

The ideal site for a specific project will be of a certain proportion. For example, a 1000 m sq site at 50m x 20m. is likely to be a well-proportioned site. However, a 1000 m sq that is 200m x 5m may not be very suitable for development.

[edit] Frontage

As with size, depending on the nature of a project, the proportion of the site that fronts a road is important when assessing its value. In the worst case, where a site is land locked and has no direct access to a public highway, the purchaser will need to buy a second piece of land in order to create access.

[edit] Shape

As with proportion, shape is one of the most influential factors on value, especially in smaller sites. Consider for example a one acre square compared to a one acre triangle. The amount of wasted space due to the sites shape pushes down the overall value of the land.

[edit] Development potential

It is generally not feasible to build a 20 storey apartment block in a country village or a warehouse in a city centre. Development potential is defined by the permissions that can gained and what can be marketed in a particular area.

[edit] Time constraints

What time pressures is the project under? The vendor can ultimately define the price based on whether or not they require a quick sale. It is important when carrying out this sort of time-based assessment to take into account costs of interest repayments on any loans.

[edit] Location

Where is the site? For example, edge of town sites offer more freedom than city centre sites, but may have less of a premium.

Where is the project's target demographic? What sort of people are likely to use the development? Where are they based? How will they get to the site?

[edit] Use class.

If a site has been classed as A1 Retail, it may be difficult to have this changed to C3 Dwellings (although this is very dependent on local policy).

[edit] Assessing value

There are a number of ways that a quick assessment of land value can be made:

  • Research what other sites of similar type and location are selling for (for example Zoopla, area stats for UK)
  • Advertise the site, asking for offers.
  • Many commercial estate agents will offer a free initial review of land.
  • Seek advice, from a professional such as a surveyor.

This article was created by --Grant Erskine Architects 11:10, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External references