Fair Value Measurement of Investment Property – a Fair and Faithful Representation

Michaela Roland

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Financial statements must give a fair and faithful view in order for the user of the financial statements to be able to make financial decisions based on the financial statements. Investment property may be recognised at cost or fair value in the financial statements, but is most often recognised at fair value in order to give an updated value. The IASB has issued an accounting standard, IFRS 13, Fair Value Measurement. The question whether this theoretical conceptual framework may help determining the value of an investment property which has not been sold on the very volatile property market for a number of years while ensuring that the financial statements give a fair and faithful view is the pivot of this thesis.
The above issues and the considerations behind the application of IFRS 13 have been the overall problem statement for this thesis, with a focus on giving a fair and faithful view. The thesis has solely focused on the problem statement with respect to investment property. When using the income approach, fair value is calculated on the basis of a high number of input data which cannot be directly observed in the market. They rather contain estimates made by the accounting staff. Thus, in order to ensure that the final fair value gives a fair and faithful view, it is important that the input data applied are well documented and as objectively valid as possible.
The answer to the problem statement has been prepared by means of a theoretical case study to shed light on the considerations which should underlie the fair value measurement to ensure a fair and faithful view. First, I structured the thesis to guide the reader through the theory of IFRS 13. Secondly, I determined and assessed cash flows and required returns on investment (ROI) relative to both textbook theory and the property in the theoretical case. I then estimated the fair value of the case property by means of two different income approach models: The DCF-model and the ROI-based model. The models are no better than the underlying assumptions. Accordingly, both models have been analysed relative to their sensitivity to changes in rent income, required ROI and vacancy rates. The thesis attaches great importance to estimation of required ROI, as correct estimation is vital to the final fair value, which was also seen in connection with the above sensitivity analyses.
To substantiate the conclusions of the thesis, I have also interviewed a public accountant specialised in property, two valuers, and a research analyst to supplement textbook theory with market empirics.
In conclusion, the answer to the overall problem statement is that it is possible to give a fair and faithful view through the application of IFRS 13. Fair value measurement should be seen as a process rather than an exercise in mathematics, which requires experience and knowledge of the property market. Valid input data and objectivity are crucial, and they are indispensable for ensuring a fair and faithful view of the financial statements.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2016
Number of pages149