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A critical review of methodologies for measuring rental depreciation applied to UK commercial real estate

Dixon, T. J., Crosby, N. and Law, V. K. (1999) A critical review of methodologies for measuring rental depreciation applied to UK commercial real estate. Journal of Property Research, 16 (2). pp. 153-180. ISSN 1466-4453

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Real estate depreciation continues to be a critical issue for investors and the appraisal profession in the UK in the 1990s. Depreciation-sensitive cash flow models have been developed, but there is a real need to develop further empirical methodologies to determine rental depreciation rates for input into these models. Although building quality has been found to be an important explanatory variable in depreciation it is very difficult to incorporate it into such models or to analyse it retrospectively. It is essential to examine previous depreciation research from real estate and economics in the USA and UK to understand the issues in constructing a valid and pragmatic way of calculating rental depreciation. Distinguishing between 'depreciation' and 'obsolescence' is important, and the pattern of depreciation in any study can be influenced by such factors as the type (longitudinal or crosssectional) and timing of the study, and the market state. Longitudinal studies can analyse change more directly than cross-sectional studies. Any methodology for calculating rental depreciation rate should be formulated in the context of such issues as 'censored sample bias', 'lemons' and 'filtering', which have been highlighted in key US literature from the field of economic depreciation. Property depreciation studies in the UK have tended to overlook this literature, however. Although data limitations and constraints reduce the ability of empirical property depreciation work in the UK to consider these issues fully, 'averaging' techniques and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression can both provide a consistent way of calculating rental depreciation rates within a 'cohort' framework.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Urban Living group
ID Code:31626

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