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Title: Valuers of UK agricultural land : an assessment of their performance, decision making and use of comparable evidence
Author: Simcock, Mark Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 2708
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2019
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Establishing a market value for agricultural land in the UK is a complex and subjective task but it remains an important one as reliable and robust valuation figures remain vital to supporting good decision making in the management of land and property as well as for the functioning of the market economy particularly at times of greater volatility. It was established via literature review that nominal was known as to how robust and reliable the valuation figures for agricultural land were and secondly it was established that nominal was known as to how the valuers of agricultural land selected and used comparable evidence in determining those valuation figures. These two matters formed the research gap for this thesis. One site based valuation exercise found that 78% of the 18 participating valuers valued agricultural land to within +/-10% of the mean valuation. In a second desk based valuation exercise, comprising two groups of 31 participating valuers, 68% of one group of participating valuers who were provided with comparable evidence that was indicative of a consistent market for agricultural land, were able to value agricultural land to within +/-10% of the mean valuation. In contrast, 32% of the second group who were provided with comparable evidence, that was indicative of an inconsistent market for agricultural land, were able to value agricultural land to within +/-10% of the mean valuation. The difference in performance between the two groups in the desk based valuation exercise could only be accounted for by the nature and interpretation of the comparable evidence. Given this, the thesis recommends that a more reliable and robust source or database of comparable evidence is needed. An analysis of dictated protocols revealed that participating valuers typically adopted a five stage comparable valuation process when selecting and using comparable evidence to determine their opinion of value. These were Inspection, Evaluation, Selection, Adjustment and Valuation. This process has been developed into a Comparable Valuation Template for dissemination into practice and is presented as part of the findings of this thesis. In making decisions as to which alternative pieces of comparable evidence to select or reject participating valuers tended to make those decisions by evaluating the alternative pieces of comparable evidence. This was based on the attributes of those alternatives using a process aligned to the adaptive decision making Template. The most important attributes in the selection/rejection of comparable evidence of agricultural land were found to be Sale Price, Land Type/Quality, Plot Size and Distance from the land being valued. Of those valuers who completed the consistent valuation desk based exercise, 45% rejected comparable evidence on the basis of one attribute alone, whilst only 3% from those who completed the inconsistent exercise did so. However, a majority of valuers from both groups used no more than three attributes to reject comparable evidence. This research represents some novel insights into the performance of agricultural valuers and their ability to value agricultural land to within +/-10% of the mean valuation. It has been established that it is the selection and interpretation of the comparable evidence that effects this performance more so than either valuation experience or the time spent on the valuation task. It is recommended that a better way of sharing, collating and distributing comparable evidence would be mutually beneficial for the profession through the production and maintenance of a comparable evidence database to accommodate and store market evidence to be accessed by valuers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available