This book shows how to answer questions that provide guidance to the most important decisions in real estate: Should I buy? Should I build? Will the market support the decision? Before developers or investors commit to a project, they must have answers to these questions if they are to remain profitable in the long run. No generic answers will fit all real estate decisions at all times, because the circumstances differ so much between projects. Therefore, in addition to examples of the methodology that is generally accepted in the industry, this book provides explanations for why the methodology is used. True understanding provides the versatility that is needed in ever-changing markets. May I build a residential subdivision here? May I build a class A office building there? Such questions are important, but are better dealt with by planners, zoning officials, and attorneys. Is appropriate zoning available? If not, what would be involved in changing the present zoning to accommodate the proposed development? Answering “permission” questions often involves political considerations, which reflect the taste preferences of citizens and politicians and are a byproduct of the local power structure. Therefore, real estate development involves political decisions, as well as market analysis. The market analyst addresses a different scope of issues than the permission questions address. The market analyst provides information and guidance to the investor, buyer, seller, financier, and planner (See Pyhrr et al. 1989, Vernor 1986, Fanning et al. 1995, Delisle and Sa-Aadu 1994, Brueggeman and Fisher 1996). Funding for development or purchase usually falls upon lending institutions. Lending institutions require market analysis as input for their consideration before they commit to funding. Otherwise, they are jeopardizing the financial viability of their institution. The decision to lend without appropriate market analysis is no more than gambling. Some projects may be successful, some may not. Banking regulations require due diligence in the lending decision to evaluate the exposure to risk by the lending institution. So business geographic real estate market analysis is central to the risk management of those who carry the burden of responsibility for the investment.
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