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Losing the plot? RICS reveals new land sales guidance for agents

Estate agents, along with other property professionals who are RICS members, must use common metrics to describe land from 7th August.

Nigel Lewis

land for sale rics guidance metric

RICS has published new guidance for its members on how they measure, define and refer to land for sale after 7th August, when members are expected to begin using it.

This will include estate agents marketing land for sale as well as planners, surveyors, developers, architects and government agencies around the world.

The guidance sets a global standard for the common metrics used when measuring and marketing land.

This include residential homes that include plots ‘ripe for redevelopment’ as well as larger residential and commercial newbuild property development sites.

RICS has told The Negotiator that ‘the expectation would be for all marketing, valuation, application and acquisition/disposal and other relevant materials to reflect the contents, including the use of new terminology such as Land Ownership Area, when it comes into effect’.

  • Land Ownership Area (LOA): an area of land, measured on a horizontal plane, which is held in a single legal interest or title by one or more legal owners, which may be the subject of a proposed or actual sale, letting or other disposal, valuation or compulsory purchase, and which may comprise all or part of that single legal interest or title.
  • Site Area (SA): the total land area on which development authorisation is sought, measured on a horizontal plane.
  • Net Development Area (NDA): the extent of the Site Area upon which one or more buildings or other operations and their ancillary space can be built, measured on a horizontal plane.
  • Plot Ratio (PR): the ratio of total development floor area to SA. Development floor area may be measured as gross external area (GEA) or gross internal area (GIA) but whichever is used or modifications of them should be clearly stated.
  • Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and Floorspace Ratio (FSR) are similar terms, used interchangeably in some jurisdictions to reference the same point. For consistency, Plot Ratio should be used wherever possible.
  • Site Coverage (SC): the ratio of ground floor area (measured in accordance with GEA) to SA, expressed as a percentage.

“Land measurement is a vital day-to-day component of real estate and this Guidance introduces, for the first time, clear and fixed definitions to assist with that process,” says lead author Jonathan Manns.

“In doing so it establishes international best practice to be used whether buying, selling, evaluating, valuing or developing land.”

The formal Guidance for Land Measurement can be read here

May 26, 2021

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