Last edited 25 Feb 2021

Valuing historic buildings

Historic environment.jpg

There are no real hard and fast rules for valuing historic buildings and established valuation principles used for more modern buildings may not apply.

Valuations will be affected by styles, locations, condition, local and national policies, whether the building is listed or in a conservation area, the availability of grant aid, public perception and so on. In addition, it is difficult for valuers to be objective as considerations such as the nature of the surrounding area, convenience of access, and views of and from the property can be subjective.

Most valuerswork is based on the concept of ‘market value’, which is the value the building might be reasonably expected to achieve after reasonable exposure in a free, stable market assuming that both buyer and seller are acting on their own free will and have a reasonable period in which to negotiate the sale. Real market value is not the same as the value to the owner, who may be affected by feelings of sentimentality and a distorted sense of worth. Also, value and price are not the same: even though prices are often the best indicators of market value, they are not decisive.

For more information see: Market value.

However, historic buildings can be unique or very close to it. This means that using market prices to value them is a difficult task. Furthermore, the legal restraints associated with any building works and the obligations to repair (e.g Grade 1-listed status) make valuing problematic.

Steps that may help establish the value of a historic building:

These considerations may help establish a historic building’s value, which in turn may help potential buyers (or sellers) make an informed decision.

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