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Research on real estate within the Centre and the department is broad ranging and international in scope.  The Centre's main areas of research activity relate to:

  • analysis of real estate and real asset investment.
  • modelling of real estate cash flows, mortgage finance and pricing of assets and loans.
  • the role and performance of real estate and real assets in investment portfolios.
  • the interaction of real asset and credit/capital markets.
  • the role of real estate in urban development and the interaction between real estate and urban competitiveness and economic performance
  • behavioural influences in real estate markets.
  • the impact of social, political, environmental and technological change on real estate markets.

Current and recent research projects

These include studies on:

  • "Nudging Towards a Better Financial Future:  Applying Behavioural Insights in the Development of Financial Systems in Rural China"  The overarching research question of this project is whether and how behavioural insights can be used to help rural residents in China make sound financial decisions, which will ultimately contribute to the sustainable economic development in China. 2019
  • "The Impact of Sea Level Rise on the Australian House Prices" This is an interim article on an ongoing collaboration between CRERC and colleagues at the University of Melbourne since January 2018.  The aim of the project is to investigate pricing patterns of flood areas and future SLR.  2019
  • "Living at Height" Another ongoing collaboration between CRERC and the University of Melbourne since July 2018. The goal is to investigate the liveability of high-rise buildings and differential pricing of high-rise location.  2019
  • "Hurdle Rates of Energy Efficiency Retrofits in New York City"  Funded by the Real Estate Research Institute (RERI) the project aims to analyse the determinants and hurdle rates for EE retrofits.  It is  being conducted in associations with NYU, UNC Chapel Hill and the University of Arizona  2019
  • "Management of currency risk in international real estate investment" A major CRERC project for the Investment Property Forum (IPF).  Exchange rate fluctuations can lead to substantial changes in the domestic currency value of cash flows from, and valuations of, international real estate investments. Currency movements lead to additional uncertainty about future returns and can dominate underlying property returns. This latest output funded by the 2015-2018 Research Programme examines contemporary market practice in the management of currency risk for foreign real estate investment.  Published 2018
  • "European rental housing framework for the profitability calculation of energy efficiency retrofitting investments" An H2020 RentalCal EU funded consortium project completed 2014-18.  A three-year European Union funded project, conducted by a consortium of eleven institutes and universities in eight countries, including several German partners and other institutions, including the Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge. The general focus of this project was to improve target group specific knowledge and facilitate investment decisions on energy efficiency retrofitting opportunities.  Published 2018
  • "Does specialisation lead to improved investment performance?"  Published by the European Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles (INREV) 2018
  • "Currency Risk Management for Investors in Asia Pacific Non-listed Real Estate Funds

    Currency movements can impact domestic currency cash flows from international real estate investments, therefore understanding and managing currency risk is an important part of the investment process. This research explored how investors in Asia Pacific non-listed real estate vehicles approach these issues and the impact of different hedging strategies.

    The research was commissioned by the Erwin Stouthamer Research Grant and represents the joint efforts of the research team from CRERC, the Asian Association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate Vehicles (ANREV) who managed the survey, and Chatham Financial who conducted the simulation analysis.  2018

Ongoing research includes analysis of ownership patterns in London offices; the determinants of global real estate capital flows at national and urban level; and an investigation of the relationship between REIT decision‐making and market sentiment indicators.

Current PhD topics

Doctoral students associated with the Centre are working on a wide range of topics, including land value taxation models, the persistence of real estate private equity fund manager performance, mean variance models and forecasting, the investment and value implications of green buildings, the dynamics of the Beijing office market, international REIT risk decomposition, bank debt covenants and real estate lending.

  • Risk and Return Characteristics of Real Estate Private Equity
  • The interrelationship among energy efficiency rating, consumer behaviour in the residential property market in relation to green housing issues and house prices
  • International  Real Estate Markets: Drivers, Structural breaks, cointegration and portfolio diversification
  • Land policy and prices in Latin America: spatial economic tales of Colombian cities
  • Commercial real estate investment and risk management in China
  • Modelling the commercial real estate market in Beijing
  • Essays on REIT capital structure 


Research sponsors

We are grateful for the support of our sponsors.  Their support funds the basic data gathering and enables us to research the topics of interest to the industry.   We are also grateful for the guidance of the Research Committee of the Cambridge Land Economy Advisory Board.

CULS is hosting a panel discussion on Thursday 19th September, examining how flexible working, environmental protection and vehicle automation are just some of the trends that will impact commercial real estate markets over the next five years.


The Cambridge International Behavioural Sciences and Urban Studies Symposium was recently hosted by CRERC and the University's Department of Land Economy at Newnham College.

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This year's Postgraduate Open Day will be on Friday 1st November.

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Applications for the 2019 intake of our MSt are now closed, but if you are interested in applying for 2020 details can be found on the course webpage

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