I suggest the greatest textbook in the study of real estate valuation was “Principles and Practice of Valuation” by the late Dr JFN Murray, a Life Fellow of the then Commonwealth Institute of Valuers.  It came to be replaced in the 1970s by RO Rost and HG Collins’ “Land Valuation and Compensation in Australia”.

Unfortunately, Rost and Collins found no reason to replicate incursions into historical considerations of the valuation of land back to biblical times found in Murray’s early chapters.  Missing went the valuation of the field of Ephron, the Mosaic Land Laws, variations in assessments as discussed in Aristotle’s Politics, the land tax under Constantine, the Domesday Inquest, RH Tawney’s discussion of the speculative mania that followed Henry VIII’s dissolution of monastic lands, Sir William Petty’s accurate valuation of Ireland within thirteen months, and European settlement of Australia, along with other historical discourse.

Missing, too, from “Rost and Collins” was Dr Murray’s conclusion that the theory of valuation “is the only division of economic theory which relies upon empirical verification of hypotheses” and that it “lies within the ambit of Economics and should be reconcilable with economic theory.

It seems the study of Valuations was to be kept ‘value free’ and ought to remain divorced from Economics (which is definitely value free).

I mentioned recently that I was surprised to find that this is not the case in China.

The Chinese were kind enough to publish my article The Commonwealth as a Response to Bubble Economies, based upon my presentation to a land value taxation symposium in Chengdu late last year.

But the article must have been too touchy for my own professional magazine. I guess it proved to be too ‘political’.  Apparently, providing only one side of the valuation story in the Australia and New Zealand Property Journal is not deemed to be ‘political’:-

Hi Bryan,                                                                              Tuesday, 15 April 2014 8:39 AM

Thank you so much for submitting your article.  Unfortunately, while the Editorial Committee found your article interesting, they have decided not to run it in the Australia and New Zealand Property Journal.

It’s more than a little disheartening that a piece suggesting the basis of funding and founding Australia’s capital city may have a particular relevance for our currently straitened circumstances is not acceptable to an institute which was founded by the valuers who had implemented Australia’s federal land tax.

How things have changed for the worse in my professional institute! (See also


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