New Global Measurement Standard to Benefit Global Property Markets

07.12.16

Global real estate professional association RICS has just announced a new international measurement standard which will offer more clarity and consistency to users of residential property services, whether they're buying, selling, renting or investing - on a global basis.

RICS states that the International Property Measurement Standards IPMS: Residential Buildings will provide a uniform global method to determine the size and dimension of floor space measures that can be used anywhere in the world.

Currently, the way residential property is measured can vary significantly from one market to the next. As a consequence, owners, occupiers and investors in domestic property are often left confused or misinformed when it comes to the reported floor space. This causes substantial issues when property is listed off-plan or bought by investors, but it has also led to disputes where rental calculations and service charges have relied on erroneous measurement information.

Published by a Coalition of more than 80 property organisations around the world, and drafted by an independent group of 18 experts from 11 countries, IPMS: Residential Buildings is the second in a series of global open-source standards aimed at creating a uniform approach to measuring buildings.

Representing many hundreds of thousands of property professionals globally, the IPMS Coalition conducted a public consultation giving property professionals everywhere a chance to have their say on this landmark residential standard.

Evidence of the variance in residential measurements is also highlighted in a new RICS Research report titled: Residential Property Measurement Practice (September 2016), written by Dr. Lesley Hemphill and Dr. Jasmine Lay Cheng Lim of Ulster University. The report investigated local measurement practice in locations across the world and compared the variance to using the new globally benchmarked IPMS: Residential Buildings. The difference in measurement for residential apartments, for example, varied by as much as 27% while measuring residential homes can vary by up to 58%.

To provide a little more detail on this issue for multifamily investors, this report shows a marked difference in practice on apartment floor plans between the Americas and Asia/Middle East compared to mainland Europe, the U.K. and Oceania. The Americas and Asia/Middle East have a much higher prevalence of including dimensions for the core living space such as living rooms, kitchen/dining room, bedrooms, and bathrooms (all 78%). This compares to just 38% for the same rooms in mainland Europe and the U.K., and only 29% in Oceania.

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