Many agricultural properties are subject to supply management through a government mandated quota system. In addition, the value of the real estate is also a function of demand in the food commodity markets. Our valuation team includes a team leader who specialises in agricultural and other rural property. The types of rural assignment we routinely undertake include the following:
Mixed Use Farms
In order to meet the constraints (weather, accessibility, cost, heterogeneous sales data) implicit in many types of rural assignments and to ensure that the value is accurate, our Valuation Division has developed specialist methodologies for inspecting and valuing the property. In so doing we have relied heavily on the use of our Geographic Information System (GIS) and Compuval™ information technology platform. Island inspections usually require access by helicopter, boat or canoe, so minimising time on the ground whilst capturing "critical to value" features of the property, is essential. Mainland inspections have their own challenges, not the least of which consists of locating the property boundaries for a parcel which may be situated a ten kilometre hike from the public highway. By downloading the boundary co-ordinates onto a hand held GPS, and utilising our GIS personnel to layer them onto a coloured aerial or satellite photograph, we ensure that we are inspecting the correct property. To undertake the inspection efficiently we have developed a survey form that captures 53 "critical to value" characteristics, and up to 106 attributes, of the parcel. Using our GIS we are able to produce site inspection maps rendered with the type of land (or water), tree type and height, and topography, to aid in the inspection process.
Property valuation is challenging, partly because the sales of comparable properties, on which the accuracy of the process depends, are not freely available in the Maritime Provinces and often must be sourced from vendors, purchasers, and the Multiple Listing Services®. Because the properties are heterogeneous, and often include ocean, lake or river frontage, the "standard" appraisal technique of analysing the sale price on a "per acre" basis and then "adjusting" for the difference between it and the property being valued, frequently fails to produce a reliable and accurate result. We have therefore developed proprietary software which analyses the sales data on a "component basis", breaking out the basic land value; waterfront benefit; road front benefit; and unit land value keyed to the land type, timber cover and maturity. We have also extended the use of GIS to create property value maps: this allows us to identify land parcels with development potential.
The following video illustrates the process of inspecting and valuing a waterfront property.