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Cambridge Real Estate Research Centre

City Resilience

Risk Characteristics of Real Estate:  It is increasingly recognised that the risk and return of real estate depends not only on the income and capital appreciation of the underlying assets but also on the vehicle in which the properties are held: its institutional and capital structure. Meanwhile, investors increasingly are looking beyond traditional asset class boundaries to classify assets into groupings that reflect their sensitivity to particular types of risk factors. The Centre is continuing to extend its work on capital structure and real estate, and drivers of risk.

Real Assets and Non‐Traditional Real Estate Investments:  Linked to the previous theme and developing prior research work, we will continue to investigate the performance and risk characteristics of non‐traditional real estate investment areas in relation to the traditional core investments of office, retail and industrial property and to explore the relationship between real estate and other real assets.

Sustainability, Resilience and Performance:  The Centre researches sustainability and real estate markets at different scales ‐ energy performance and environmental sustainability at building level and its link to value and return, complemented by a broader perspective on sustainability and urban resilience, promoted by, for example, the Urban Land Institute and by the World Economic Forum’s Agenda Council on the future of cities and real estate.

Ownership, Globalisation and Yield Structures: Prompted by the growing dominance of non‐ domestic purchasers in London (and other world gateway cities), the focus of this research includes attempting to understand the implications of global capital flows on market performance and values. For example, what is the basis of investment yields when global investors with lower costs of capital are not tied into the local market become significant in a particular city sub‐market?

Real Estate Risks in a Multi‐Asset Class Portfolio Context:  This work explores a number of approaches to identifying both known risk factors and uncertainties in investment and how to integrate real estate into multi‐ asset class frameworks.

Technology, Risks and Opportunities:  An emerging theme is the impact of technology on all real estate markets and the performance of real estate portfolios. This encompasses the risk to traditional real estate formats and cashflows from technology e.g. new working practices and new patterns of consumption, but also includes opportunities e.g. the potential benefits of smart building technologies in driving greater efficiency of usage and more focused management to maximise returns, and the use of machine learning in assessing real estate.

Long run capital growth and depreciation:  This research theme explores very long run performance across property segments and examines the factors that have led that performance.

Placemaking and regeneration: This theme looks at mixed use developments both in terms of performance and impact relative to smaller single-use developments and their interaction with local economies, infrastructure and policy.

Behavioural Economics, Perceptions and Preferences: Decisions by private and institutional investors are influenced by beliefs, attitudes and perceptions, many of which result in suboptimal or irrational decisions which are difficult to reconcile with standard finance and economic theory. This research area seeks to quantify the extent to which the aforementioned factors play into the decision-making process of various agents in the housing, land and capital markets and to find ways to improve these decisions.







MSt Real Estate Prospectus

Interview with MSt graduate Elizabeth Smart


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