A Grave Concern

A grave concern 

Sometimes we face some unusual cases.

Philip Briggs, our consultant valuer, was asked to value a cemetery in a London Borough. The requirement was to establish a Market Value through a RICS Red book valuation. Phil started by setting out a rationale and valuation model which would meet the RICS Professional Standards. Having established one with which he and the client were happy, he then began to ‘dig’ for evidence. 

This was an interesting project; the value is nuanced by various factors: capacity in graveyards varies between boroughs; lease lengths vary from 25 to 99 years; some only accept residents; demand from catchment areas changes with death projections; and some religions will only allow burials in ‘virgin’ plots – those not used for burial previously –   and others decree one plot per person (no doubling).

To reach his opinion, Phil researched charges, maintenance costs, deaths, ‘re-opens’, and spaces required across all the London Boroughs. He then considered the availability of used and virgin plots, and demographic information including components of population change, age, and locality. Any inaccurate information was discarded and buried, from the remaining ‘bones’, he assembled a skeleton format which was populated with data which informed conclusions on supply, demand, and worth.

A grateful client sent him flowers and payment for the invoice. Phil replied with a R.I.P. (receipt in post).

(from a conversation with Phil and ghostwritten by Hal O’Ween)