Contaminated land valuation and the problem of stigma
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 12:36 authored by Hok Kee Nelson Chan
This dissertation is about the valuation of contaminated land and the problem of stigma. The value of contaminated land is to a large extent affected by statutory regulations. Stigma, if it exists, is another factor that has significant impact on contaminated land value. This thesis looks at the relevant laws governing contaminated land in Australia. It also introduces an alternative method to assess the stigma factor. -- Contaminated land is a major environmental problem. Apart from causing actual or potential threats to human health and the environment, contaminated land also leads to legal liabilities and financial losses to the landowner. Regarding financial losses, they may be costs to meet legal requirements in relation to clean up and long term monitoring expenses. In addition, they may be losses due to a drop in market value and/or rental of the property, longer vacancy periods, high remediation and monitoring costs. In the extreme case, the property may lose marketability completely. -- Regarding valuation methods, most valuers use traditional valuation methods with arbitrary adjustments. The most straightforward method is the impaired value (affected value) approach. It requires the valuer to assess the property on a clean land basis. From the unimpaired (clean) value, other financial losses due to contamination, remediation costs and stigma value loss are deducted to get the impaired value. The most difficult part is to quantify stigma impact. The existing stigma assessment methods are not satisfactory. Alternative and non-traditional methods are available. However they are academic and are not suitable for day-to-day operation of a valuer. This thesis suggests a multi-criteria decision-making model to assess stigma impact. The target stigma factor is obtained by processing the relevant criteria with the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method. The best alternative from the model is the reasonable stigma factor for the property.