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How to estimate the price of an undeveloped plot of land?

Thomas Miller
28.10.2022, 00:56
5 min
Table of Contents
estimer un terrain non equipé

What is an undeveloped plot of land?

terrain non equipé evaluation et valeur

Undeveloped land, is land that has not been made habitable. That is to say, it has not yet been connected to the essential networks for living or working on it.

The essential connections are as follows:

  • Access to safe drinking water
  • Gas
  • Electricity 
  • The telephone, television and internet network
  • Sewer connection
  • Collective remediation

Can all plots be developed?

prix estimation equipement terrain

Before rendering a plot of land it is essential to know whether the plot in question is constructible. There is no point in servicing a plot of land if it belongs to an area to be preserved such as a natural site or a built-up area (monuments of art history or architecture). 

To find out whether your land is suitable for building, you can obtain the land use plan from your local authority, which will clearly indicate whether your plot is considered a building zone or not. On the other hand, land that is not building land at the time of reading the land use plan may become building land a few months or a few years later. Every 10 to 15 years, the communes reassign the plots of land as a building zone, an intermediate zone, a green zone or an agricultural zone, with the aim of not exhausting the building land but using it according to the needs and the evolution of the population. 

If you wish to sell your land as soon as possible, you can indeed equip it to increase its value. Note that equipping a plot of land is not an obligation but a right, you can sell your unequipped plot if you wish.

How can you estimate the price of an undeveloped plot of land?

equipement terrain prix

The valuation of the price of an undeveloped plot will be different if the plot in question is constructible or non-constructible. Let's first look at how to estimate a non building and non equipped land.

What is an unbuildable plot of land?

An unbuildable plot of land:

Presents natural risks such as landslides
Is in an area to be protected

The municipality has designated it as land that cannot be built on for at least the next few years.

What is the price of an unbuildable, undeveloped plot of land?

prix d'un terrain non équipe, non viabilisé

The price of an unbuildable and non-equipped plot of land will depend on several factors which are:

1. The specific characteristics of the land

  • Its location: close to the city, shops, services and public transport.
  • Surface area: the larger the plot, the higher its value.
  • The nature of the soil: if it is necessary to rehabilitate the soil in order to use it, it will be less valuable than a plot that does not require any work.
  • The degree of inclination: the steeper the slope, the more difficult it will be to develop the land and therefore the more expensive it will be.
  • Servitudes: these are constraints imposed on the owner; the greater the constraints, the less attractive they will be to buyers.

2. The intended use of the land

Land that cannot be built on is not totally unusable, it can be used without necessarily having to build on it, some examples of use:

  • Make it a leisure area (fishing, camping, sport...)
  • Erecting a vegetable garden 
  • Rent it as a parking space 
  • Rent it out to shopkeepers (food truck, ephemeral shops...).

For a buyer, in order to ensure that the selling price is fair it is essential to carry out a study of the land by analysing its characteristics and estimating whether the purchase of the land is profitable. To do this you will only need to carry out the simple calculation: Investment costs - Value of return

The investment costs include the price of the land and the development costs linked to the project. If you wish to rent the land or use it as a recreational area, for example, and you wish to negotiate a lower price, you will have to take into account the defects of the land, such as its unhealthy condition, its distance from public transport or the road network.

In order to set the price, the seller must carry out a study of the property market, using an analysis of comparable properties. This analysis can be carried out online, via a property portal. The aim is to compare your land with the selling price of land on the market. The owner will then have to adjust the price of his land according to its qualities and defects.

What is the price of a residential plot that is not developed?

prix m2 terrain constructible non amenage

As explained above, the value of a plot of land is mainly based on the future project carried out on the land, so a building plot will have a price that is almost 10 to 20 times higher than a plot that is not building land. For a building plot, the price is determined on the basis of the price per m² in some cases set by the municipality and the land use index. On the other hand, for an unequipped plot of land, you will potentially have to make an estimate of the costs related to the equipment of the land and deduct them from the selling price, as it will be up to the buyer to make this equipment if you sell it as is.

Equipment costs vary according to the distance your plot is from the public grid, the greater the distance and the more complicated the connection, the higher the costs.

To give you an idea, the cost of equipping a plot of land can start at CHF 50 per square metre and go up to CHF 250 per square metre. You will need to contact the commune for information, and they will direct you to the services that will take care of the equipment of the plot or at least provide you with the possible costs related to your plot.

Thomas Miller
Thomas Miller has been a real estate agent for over 4 years now, when he is not in the field, he is dedicated to his second passion, writing, especially in the real estate market.
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