The uncertainty of valuation
French, N. and Gabrielli, L., (2005) The uncertainty of valuation. Working Papers in Real Estate & Planning. 07/05. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp22.
Valuation is often said to be “an art not a science” but this relates to the techniques employed to calculate value not to the underlying concept itself. Valuation is the process of estimating price in the market place. Yet, such an estimation will be affected by uncertainties. Uncertainty in the comparable information available; uncertainty in the current and future market conditions and uncertainty in the specific inputs for the subject property. These input uncertainties will translate into an uncertainty with the output figure, the valuation. The degree of the uncertainties will vary according to the level of market activity; the more active a market, the more credence will be given to the input information. In the UK at the moment the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is considering ways in which the uncertainty of the output figure, the valuation, can be conveyed to the use of the valuation, but as yet no definitive view has been taken apart from a single Guidance Note (GN5, RICS 2003) stressing the importance of recognising uncertainty in valuation but not proffering any particular solution. One of the major problems is that Valuation models (in the UK) are based upon comparable information and rely upon single inputs. They are not probability based, yet uncertainty is probability driven. In this paper, we discuss the issues underlying uncertainty in valuations and suggest a probability-based model (using Crystal Ball) to address the shortcomings of the current model.