This article discusses some of the characteristics of a site that affect it's value, beyond the simple fact that as site is worth "...as much as someone is willing to pay".
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).
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.
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.
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.
 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.
 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.
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?
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).
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)
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Common land.
- Construction loan.
- Contaminated land.
- Deleterious materials.
- Development appraisal.
- Development on brownfield land.
- Home ownership.
- Planning permission.
- Rating valuation.
- Residual valuation.
- Site appraisal.
- Site information.
- Site surveys.
- Speculative construction.
- Stamp duty.
- Technical due diligence.
- Use class.
 External references
Featured articles and news
IHBC book review: Charles Barry’s monumental struggle to rebuild the Houses of Parliament.
Read about RSHP's British Museum extension which has been shortlisted for the 2017 Stirling Prize.
Read our introductory article to building a house extension.
More updates from DCMS about the large-scale testing of cladding systems and the number of buildings affected.
UandI secure resolution to grant planning consent for major new regeneration project.
IHBC article considers how heritage is dealt with when infrastructure schemes are authorised.
It was the tallest structure in the world for 3,800 years, but to this day the exact construction techniques are a mystery.
Shortlist for the industry's most coveted award announced.
Government responds to Mark Farmer's review of industry, rejecting the call for a levy on clients.
Peter Hansford to examine what wider lessons can be learned from the fire.
Every project is subject to uncertainty. How can construction better understand uncertainty for performance improvement?
MAD Architects reveal their designs for a futuristic campus for electric car manufacturer.
Homebuyers could borrow more with better forecasting of energy bills, according to industry consortium's new report.