Application of spatial resource data to assist in farmland valuation
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A land transaction is generally not a recurring action for most buyers and sellers their experience and knowledge are limited for this reason the services of property agents and valuers are sometimes used just to get more information available. The condition of insufficient information and the inability to observe differences in land productivity gives rise to the undervaluation of good land and overvaluation of poor land. The advent of the Internet made access to comprehensive information sources easier for property agents and valuers whose critical time and resources can now be effectively managed through Geographic Information System (GIS) integrated workflow processes. This study aims to develop the blueprint for a farm valuation support system (FVSS) that assists valuers in their application of the comparable sales method by enabling them to do the following: (1) Rapid identification of the location of the subject property and transaction properties on an electronic map. (2) Comparison of the subject property with the transaction properties in terms of value contributing attributes that can be expressed in a spatial format mainly (a) location and (b) land resource quality factors not considered in existing valuation systems that primarily focus on residential property. An algorithm that generates an index value was developed to allow easy comparison of the land of a subject property and that of transaction properties. This index value distinguishes the proposed FVSS from other existing property valuation systems and can therefore be used by valuers as a first approximation of a property's soil suitability before doing further field work. The FVSS was successfully developed and tested primarily using data obtained in the Western Cape South Africa. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.