Can the same house have a different size?

A new International Property Measurement Standards for 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 recently adopted standards will offer more clarity and consistency to those who buy, sell, rent or invest in residential property.

Currently, the way residential property is measured can vary significantly from one market to the next. A new RICS Research report "Residential Property Measurement Practice”, shows evidence of the variance in residential measurements across the globe and even within the same market. 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%.

As a consequence, owners, occupiers and investors in domestic property are often left confused or misinformed when it comes to the reported floor space. This causes substantial issues when property is listed off-plan or bought by investors, but it has also led to disputes where rental calculations and service charges have relied on erroneous measurement information.

Published by a Coalition of more than 80 property organisations around the world, including RICS, 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.

“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.” Alexander Aronsohn, RICS Director Technical International Standards

“For the last two decades the Polish housing industry concentrated on the development of dwellings for sale. Now we are witnessing an increased interest of institutional investors searching for investment assets in the residential sector. For investors entering new market good understanding of the product is one of the key factors influencing this strategic decision. An International Property Measurement Standard (IPMS) will increase transparency and allow investors to compare assets measured in a consistent way across different markets”, Paweł Sztejter MRICS, Managing Partner, REAS.

Keywords RICS, IPMS