Uncertainty and feasibility studies: an Italian case study
French, N. and Gabrielli, L., (2005) Uncertainty and feasibility studies: an Italian case study. Working Papers in Real Estate & Planning. 03/05. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp24.
Uncertainty affects all aspects of the property market but one area where the impact of uncertainty is particularly significant is within feasibility analyses. Any development is impacted by differences between market conditions at the conception of the project and the market realities at the time of completion. The feasibility study needs to address the possible outcomes based on an understanding of the current market. This requires the appraiser to forecast the most likely outcome relating to the sale price of the completed development, the construction costs and the timing of both. It also requires the appraiser to understand the impact of finance on the project. All these issues are time sensitive and analysis needs to be undertaken to show the impact of time to the viability of the project. The future is uncertain and a full feasibility analysis should be able to model the upside and downside risk pertaining to a range of possible outcomes. Feasibility studies are extensively used in Italy to determine land value but they tend to be single point analysis based upon a single set of “likely” inputs. In this paper we look at the practical impact of uncertainty in variables using a simulation model (Crystal Ball ©) with an actual case study of an urban redevelopment plan for an Italian Municipality. This allows the appraiser to address the issues of uncertainty involved and thus provide the decision maker with a better understanding of the risk of development. This technique is then refined using a “two-dimensional technique” to distinguish between “uncertainty” and “variability” and thus create a more robust model.