Impact of Seimic Risk on Lifetime Property Values

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This report presents a methodology for establishing the uncertain net asset value, NAV, of a real estate investment opportunity considering both market risk and seismic risk for the property. It also presents a decision-making procedure to assist in making real-estate investment choices under conditions of uncertainty and risk-aversion. It is shown that that market risk, as measured by the coefficient of variation of NAV, is at least 0.2 and may exceed 1.0. In a situation of such high uncertainty, where potential gains and losses are large relative to a decision-maker’s risk tolerance, it is appropriate to adopt a decision-analysis approach to real-estate investment decision-making. A simple equation for doing so is presented. The decision-analysis approach uses the certainty equivalent, CE, as opposed to NAV as the basis for investment decisionmaking. That is, when faced with multiple investment alternatives, one should choose the alternative that maximizes CE. It is shown that CE is less than the expected value of NAV by an amount proportional to the variance of NAV and the inverse of the decision-maker’s risk tolerance, ρ.

The study results point to a number of interesting opportunities for future research, namely: improve the market-risk stochastic model, including comparison of actual long-term income with initial income projections; improve the risk-attitude interview; account for uncertainties in repair method and in the relationship between repair cost and loss; relate the damage state of structural elements with points on the force-deformation relationship; examine simpler dynamic analysis as a means to estimate vulnerability; examine the relationship between simplified engineering demand parameters and performance; enhance category-based vulnerability functions by compiling a library of building-specific ones; and work with lenders and real-estate industry analysts to determine the conditions under which seismic risk should be reflected in investors’ financial analyses.


Type of resource text
Date created December 2002


Author Beck, JL
Author Porter, KA
Author Shaikhutdinov, RV
Author Au, SK
Author Mizukoshi, K
Author Miyamura, M
Author Ishida, H
Author Moroi,T
Author Tsukada, Y
Author Masuda, M


Subject Net Asset Value
Subject Certainty Equivalent
Subject Market Risk
Subject Real Estate
Genre Technical report

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Beck, JL and Porter, KA and Shaikhutdinov, RV and Au, SK and Mizukoshi, K and Miyamura, M and Ishida, H and Moroi,T and Tsukada, Y and Masuda, M. (2002). Impact of Seimic Risk on Lifetime Property Values. CUREE-Kajima Research Report CKIV-03. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at:


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