Gross development value, or GDV as it is commonly known in property circles, is an important valuation metric that all investors and property developers need to be familiar with when building their project and financial appraisals. The gross development value of a property investment project can be calculated to give a near accurate figure of what that property or real estate development project may be worth on the open market once all development works have been completed.
Gross development value is an essential tool for any real estate investor or property developer as it forms a key component in the development appraisal process.
Without an accurate gross development value any pre-acquisition or pre-development financial projections may be seriously flawed and the property developers risks increased significantly.
What is Gross Development Value (GDV)?
To many property developers, GDV is one of the most important performance metrics that they will monitor throughout the course of a project as it helps to highlight the capital and rental value of their property or development project when all redevelopment works have been completed.
In other words, it will show if a profit has been, or will be made from the development project, and at what level.
Gross development value should never be underestimated, it is the foundation to any property development appraisal and is the one performance metric that impacts on all other major aspects of the evaluation.
Put simply, gross development value is the estimated value that a property or new development would fetch on the open market if it were to be sold in the current economic climate.
How to Calculate Gross Development Value
So, how is GDV calculated?
Generally, if a near accurate valuation is to be created for a property development project or purchase, then current property sales prices and recent transactions in the area for similar properties would be carefully analysed – this would provide a comparable estimate of what properties in the same area are selling for and therefore what you could expect your property to fetch.
Developing to Let & Rental Values
For some property developers however, sales prices aren’t the biggest concern.
Instead, establishing rental values and recent local lettings of similar properties will be of primary interest.
This is because on completion of their project they may want to let the property to tenants either on a residential or commercial basis.
If a developer wants to let a property or development, they will have to look at recent lettings in the same area to find comparable rental values.
This information can usually be obtained from local lettings agents or specialist firms of valuation surveyors.
This will help to establish how much the developer can expect to take in rent on a per month, per annum etc. basis.
Gross Development Value… a Key Performance Metric
As a calculation, the gross development value should never be underestimated.
It is the foundation to any property development project appraisal and is the one performance metric that impacts on all other major aspects, such as the acquisition cost of development site, the cost of the construction and enabling works; developers profit; and, more importantly, the likelihood of a successful financial outcome.
Residual Method of Appraisal
The method of development appraisal that incorporates the GDV calculation is the residual method of valuation and you can approach this in a couple of different ways.
The most common and most basic formula to estimate the general value is as follows:
Land = GDV – (Construction + Fees + Profit)
Land = Purchase price of land/property/site acquisition
GDV = Gross development value
Construction = Building and construction costs
Fees = Fees and transaction costs
Profit = Developers profit required
Calculating Property Developers Profit
An alternative form of the residual assessment can be used by reconfiguring the above formula to calculate the property developers profit:
Profit = GDV – (Construction + Fees + Land)
The second form of this formula is a more traditional way of assessing the financial viability of a property development project as it helps to highlight the developers profit so an assessment can be made at the outset as to the projects viability.
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