Countries are coming together to stop comparing apples with pears when it comes to property asset measurement
Twelve months ago in Washington RICS gathered 22 leading property experts representing 150 countries across five different continents to discuss how to achieve common international ground when it came to measuring real estate.
Given the global economic crises and property’s significant role in it, the group recognised that looking through the world via an individual country lens was no longer appropriate in such an internationally connected marketplace.
Steve Williams, RICS knowledge board chair and executive managing director of real capital analytics commented at the time that “with the exception of language, it would not be an exaggeration to characterise global real estate measurement protocols as the most urgent outstanding issue affecting industry,” and the gathering formed what is today the International Property Measurement Standards Coalition (IPMSC).
The Coalition has grown to 45 members, with representatives from Africa, Brazil, Russia, Japan, the USA and Canada all committed to supporting new measurement standards
Fast forward to May 2014 and what a difference a year makes. The Coalition has grown to 45 members, with representatives from Africa, Brazil, Russia, Japan, the USA and Canada all committed to supporting new measurement standards. Next month, the property and land sector, which the World Bank estimates to account for between 50-70% of wealth in the world, will see new internationalised measuring codes introduced for offices.
Without any exaggeration, this will be an enormous milestone for the sector; reducing measurement discrepancies from country to country by as much as 24% and overcoming what can be, at best, described like trying to compare apples with pears when it comes to property asset measurement from country to country.
In London for example, where demand for commercial property in the first three months of the year, has risen at an unprecedented rate, transparent and accurate measuring couldn’t come soon enough; any overseas investors seeking an office for 100 employees will no longer be presented with ones which can only house 76 and forecasting facilities management expenditure will become far more accurate.
But of course, the adoption of new standards needs to be industry-led and that can only come from informing and educating on the benefits. Long-term confidence will be a key selling point for a property-reliant global economy and one that investors, governments, developers and tenants will all be keen to benefit from.
Surely such transparency and global standardisation only makes good business sense and professionals within the industry will fully embrace them.
Sean Tompkins is chief executive of the RICS