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Residential property markets set to benefit from new global measurement standard



  • International coalition, including RICS, launches floor space measurement standard to benefit residential property investors, developers, real estate agents, professionals and ultimately consumers
  • New RICS research provides evidence of substantial variance in measurement practice and reporting depending on location

Mumbai, 26th September 2016: After intensive consultations and deliberations over the last one year, the International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS) Coalition—a group of over 83 professional and not-for-profit organisations today announced the launch of international floor space measurement standards.

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.

The proliferation of local standards to govern the measurement of buildings has created measurement inconsistencies across countries. In India, there is inconsistency within the country as well as and standards differ from market to market. As a consequence, owners, occupiers and investors in residential property are often left confused or misinformed when it comes to the reported floor space. This has led to disputes in cases where rental calculations and service charges have relied on erroneous measurement information.

“IPMS: Residential Buildings addresses a simple but challenging reality: How do we provide transparent and consistent measurements for domestic properties when the methods used to perform these measurements differ across global markets? For many, owning a home is the most important investment they’ll make. This new standard will enable investors, estate agents, developers, consumers and other users of professional property services, to make more informed decisions. IPMS: Residential Buildings is ultimately about protecting the investments we make as individuals, investors or industry leaders”, said Alexander Aronsohn, RICS Director Technical International Standards.

Sachin Sandhir, Global Managing Director-Emerging Business and Managing Director-South Asia, RICS, said,A lot has changed in the last one year in India’s real estate landscape. On the one hand the government is trying to bring in transparency into the sector with the introduction of legislations such as RERA and on the other the residential property market has been badly hit. Buyer confidence is low and the best of builders are finding it difficult to sell homes. In such times, IPMS is expected to boost investor and buyer confidence. Adoption of uniform property measurement standards will send a message to home buyers that the Indian real estate sector is serious about adopting global best practices.”

In March, 2015, leading property experts had converged in the national capital to understand the best way to implement IPMS for residential buildings in the Indian market. The IPMS Standard Setting Committee met with high level Indian stakeholders including the securities market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Ministry of Housing and the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO).

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 “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%.

Earlier this year, RICS Property Measurement, 1st edition, which incorporates IPMS: Office Buildings, became the mandated standard to use for all RICS Professionals who perform measurements on commercial properties. A number of governments, corporate occupiers and employers of property professionals are adopting IPMS to benchmark their property measurements around the world.

Over the coming months RICS Professionals will be encouraged to share their expertise and shape the Professional Statement to include IPMS: Residential Buildings as an update to the Code of Measuring Practice.


By Lokesh Shastri

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