Investor's wiki

Cost Approach

Cost Approach

What Is the Cost Approach?

The cost approach is a real estate valuation method that gauges the price a buyer ought to pay for a piece of property is equivalent the cost to build an equivalent building. In the cost approach, the property's value is equivalent to the cost of land, plus total costs of construction, less depreciation. It yields the most dependable market value for when a property is new than through alternative methods.

The cost approach is one of three valuation methods for real estate; the others being the income approach and the comparable approach.

Grasping Cost Approach

Rather than zeroing in on the prices other, comparable homes in the area are selling for, or a property's ability to produce income, the coast approach method values real estate by working out how much the building would cost today in the event that it were obliterated and required to have been supplanted beginning to end. It likewise factors in how much the land is worth and makes deductions for any loss in value, also called its depreciation.

The logic behind the cost approach is that it's a horrible idea for buyers to pay more for a property than what it would cost to build without any preparation.

There are two principal types of cost approach appraisals:

  1. Reproduction method: This form looks at what as an imitation of the property would cost to be constructed and concentrates on the utilization of original materials.
  2. Replacement method. In this case, it is assumed that the new structure has a similar function however with more up to date materials, using current construction methods and refreshed design.

At the point when all assessments have been accumulated, the cost approach is calculated in the accompanying manner:

cost - depreciation + land worth = value of the property.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Cost Approach

The cost approach can be less dependable than the income and comparable methodologies in practice. It requires certain presumptions, including underestimating that there is sufficient accessible land for the buyer to build an indistinguishable property.

Additionally, on the off chance that comparable empty land isn't accessible, the value must be estimated, which makes the appraisal less accurate. The lack of comparable building materials likewise decreases the precision of the appraisal and increments room for subjectivity. Working out depreciation on more seasoned property isn't direct and effectively quantifiable, by the same token.

Regardless of these limitations, there are a couple of cases where the cost approach can be valuable and, surprisingly, vital. Esteeming the different parts of real estate separately is especially useful while dealing with property that is new or contrasts from others in unique ways.

When to Use the Cost Approach

Special Use Properties

The cost approach is required and now and again is the best way to decide the value of selective use buildings, like libraries, schools or chapels. These resources create little income and are not frequently marketed, which negates the income and comparable approaches.

New Construction

The cost approach is frequently utilized for new construction, too. Construction lenders require cost approach appraisals in light of the fact that any market value or income value is dependent upon project standards and completion. Projects are reappraised at different stages of construction to empower the release of funds for the next stage of completion.


Insurance appraisals will generally utilize the cost approach while underwriting mortgage holders' contracts or taking into account claims on the grounds that main the value of improvements is insurable and land value is isolated from the total value of the property. The decision between depreciated value and full replacement or reproduction value is the deciding factor for the evaluation.

Commercial Property

At last, the cost approach is periodically depended on to value commercial property(/commercial-property, for example, office buildings, retail stores, and lodgings. The income approach is the fundamental method utilized here, albeit a cost approach might be carried out when design, construction, functional utility or grade of materials require individual changes.

Special Considerations

Most residential appraisals don't utilize the cost approach. All things being equal, sales correlations generally drive market valuations of these types of properties.

At the point when a cost approach appraisal comes in below market pricing, it tends to be an indication of an overheated market. On the other hand, customary evaluations above market pricing might signal a buying opportunity.

An exception is assuming that the property is under-improved or over-improved for its area. In this case, an accurate assessment of the value of improvements adds to the precision of the determination of value, which is absurd utilizing just the comparable approach.


  • The cost approach is viewed as less dependable than other real estate valuation methods, however can be helpful in certain cases, for example, while assessing new construction or a unique home with not many comparables.
  • The cost approach to real estate valuation considers the value ought to rise to the total cost to build an equivalent structure.
  • The cost approach thinks about the cost of land, plus costs of construction, less depreciation.