Development land valuation accuracy in China – a case study of Beijing

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Purpose The paper aims to quantitatively investigate vacant industrial land valuation accuracy in China, given the importance of the industrial market as an underlying pillar to promote urban growth especially in emerging economies.

Design/methodology/approach In China, the government formulates a Land Benchmark Price (LBP) to serve as a price reference point to sell land rights. To gain an in-depth understanding of the valuation practice by LBP, this paper uses correlation analysis to investigate the varying dynamics between the transaction-based prices and LBP appraisal-based estimates. Furthermore, a margin of error examination investigates the distortion in LBP land appraisals, with an amended LBP presented to improve the accuracy of the current LBP method.

Findings Different influencing factors are identified to impact the actual market transaction prices and the LBP construction, leading to a large discrepancy in industrial land appraisals. A systematic problem is recognised that the construction of the LBP follows urban bid curve theory, whereas the land transaction prices do not, demonstrating that an urgent LBP update is needed to capture the market dynamics for industrial market.

Practical implications The paper sets out discrepancies in valuation accuracy surrounding the application of the LBP valuation approach in China. This has practical implications for valuers in terms of raising their awareness of the deficiencies in the approach and the pitfalls they need to guard against in their appraisals. It also has implications for developers and investors who rely on valuer appraisals to assess the viability of land purchases; hence, they need to express caution in the appraisal advice sought. Finally, the results demonstrate to the standard setters how they need to modify the LBP equations to better capture market dynamics.

Originality/value The paper examines valuation accuracy in transitional economies, through valuation differentials between appraised price and the transacted price. The value of the work lies in the analysis of the fundamental differentials between market price and appraised value, which is of importance to investors/ developers, practicing valuers, as well as government officials responsible for setting the valuation standards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Property Investment and Finance
Issue number0
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 14 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Land valuation accuracy
  • Margin of error
  • Land benchmark price
  • Industrial land
  • Real estate development
  • china


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