Value-in-use is the net present value (NPV) of a cash flow or other benefits that an asset generates for a specific owner under a specific use.
In the U.S., it is generally estimated at a use which is less than highest-and-best use, and therefore it is generally lower than market value.
When a particular user enjoys special benefits, such as extraordinary financing, agglomeration benefits, or grandfathered zoning, then the value may be higher than market value, and the value is considered to be an investment value.
The current edition of International Valuation Standards (IVS 2007) re-states the International Financial Reporting Standards definition of 'value-in-use', which would allow for either a higher value than market value or a lower value than market value:
As defined in IVS2, investment value is the valuation equivalent of the accountancy concept of value-in-use. Whereas IFRSs define the accountancy concepts of fair value and value-in-use in operational terms, IVSs define Market Value and Investment Value by way of generalised definitions.
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