Gross development value (GDV) Property developers Guide to Appraisals


Gross development value, or GDV as it is commonly known in property circles, is an important valuation metric that all investors and property developers need to be familiar with when building their project and financial appraisals. The gross development value of a property investment project can be calculated to give a near accurate figure of what that property or development project may be worth on the open market once all development works have been completed.

Gross development value is an essential tool for any investor or property developer as it forms a key component in the development appraisal process.

Without an accurate gross development value any pre-acquisition or pre-development financial projections may be seriously flawed and the property developers risks increased significantly.

What is Gross Development Value (GDV)?

To many property developers, GDV is one of the most important performance metrics that they will monitor throughout the course of a project as it helps to highlight the capital and rental value of their property or development project when all redevelopment works have been completed.

In other words, it will show if a profit has been, or will be made from the development project, and at what level.

Gross development value should never be underestimated, it is the foundation to any property development appraisal and is the one performance metric that impacts on all other major aspects of the evaluation.

Put simply, gross development value is the estimated value that a property or new development would fetch on the open market if it were to be sold in the current economic climate.

How to Calculate Gross Development Value

So, how is GDV calculated?

Generally, if a near accurate valuation is to be created for a property development project or investment, then current property sales prices and recent transactions in the area for similar properties would be carefully analysed – this would provide a comparable estimate of what properties in the same area are selling for and therefore what you could expect your property to fetch.

Developing to Let & Rental Values

For some property developers however, sales prices aren’t the biggest concern.

Instead, establishing rental values and recent local lettings of similar properties will be of primary interest.

This is because on completion of their project they may want to let the property to tenants either on a residential or commercial basis.

If a developer wants to let a property or development, they will have to look at recent lettings in the same area to find comparable rental values.

This information can usually be obtained from local lettings agents or specialist firms of valuation surveyors.

This will help to establish how much the developer can expect to take in rent on a per month, per annum etc. basis.

Gross Development Value… a Key Performance Metric

As a calculation, the gross development value should never be underestimated.

It is the foundation to any property development project appraisal and is the one performance metric that impacts on all other major aspects, such as the acquisition cost of the building or land, the cost of the construction and enabling works; developers profit; and, more importantly, the likelihood of a successful financial outcome.

Residual Method of Appraisal

The method of development appraisal that incorporates the GDV calculation is the residual method of valuation and you can approach this in a couple of different ways.

The most common and most basic formula to estimate the general value is as follows:

Land = GDV – (Construction + Fees + Profit)



Land = Purchase price of land/property/site acquisition

GDV = Gross development value

Construction = Building and construction costs

Fees = Fees and transaction costs

Profit = Developers profit required

Calculating Property Developers Profit

An alternative form of the residual assessment can be used by reconfiguring the above formula to calculate the property developers profit:

Profit = GDV – (Construction + Fees + Land)


The second form of this formula is a more traditional way of assessing the financial viability of a property development project as it helps to highlight the developers profit so an assessment can be made at the outset as to the projects viability.


We work with a number of lenders who provide specialist advice for development , please contact us on 01565 734 613 if you wish to discuss

Share This Post

More To Explore

Request a quote today

If you would like a quote, please get in touch and a member of our team will be happy to help