The value of sustainability in real estate: a review from a valuation perspective

Georgia Warren‐Myers (Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Publication date: 2 March 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to synthesise the plethora of research that has been conducted into the relationship between sustainability and market value in real estate, by critically analysing the research and the applicability of sustainability and value research in valuation practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The research on the relationship between sustainability and market value in real estate is examined from the perspective of its usefulness to the valuation profession in providing guidance, information and evidence to be used in valuation practice.

Findings

Existing research conducted into the relationship between sustainability and market value has not provided the valuation profession with evidence which would allow the incorporation of normative theories on the value of sustainability in valuation practice. This review highlights the lack of evidence, and the applicability of current research into sustainability and value to the valuation profession in providing guidance and information in valuing real estate incorporating sustainability.

Practical implications

This paper highlights the limited applicability of research to date in regard to the relationship between sustainability and market value for the valuation profession. The lack of historical evidence, data or information on the quantifiable effects on market value of this new trend (sustainability), leaves the valuation profession uncertain as to the relationship between sustainability and market value. There is a probable risk of valuers interpreting strategic research incorrectly, and making inappropriate adjustments or comparisons because of their lack of knowledge and limited sustainability assessment skills. Although there is an evolving body of knowledge, there is a need for extensive analysis of unbiased, evidence‐based research in individual and broader markets to provide guidance, evidence and knowledge of the implications of sustainability in the valuation of real estate.

Originality/value

The examination of research investigating the relationship between sustainability and value from a valuation perspective provides an alternative insight into the applicability of current research in valuation practice. The increasing profile and role of sustainability in the real estate sector needs to be addressed in valuation practice; however, the variety of research to date needs to be interpreted by valuers in the correct context. This paper brings to light the applicability of sustainability and value research for the broader valuation profession, and the potential implications of misuse or misunderstanding of that research.

Keywords

Citation

Warren‐Myers, G. (2012), "The value of sustainability in real estate: a review from a valuation perspective", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 115-144. https://doi.org/10.1108/14635781211206887

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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