GY458      Half Unit
Real Property Market Practice

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Paul Cheshire S405 and Dr Gabriel Ahlfeldt S408


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Real Estate Economics and Finance. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

It is available by arrangement with the teacher responsible as an option to other students on other programmes who have an appropriate academic background and an interest in real estate markets.

Course content

An examination of how real property markets operate in practice and of the analytical techniques and data available for analysts and practitioners. Specific areas of study include: the availability and structure of data sets in the context of property: problems of: price measurement; user/investment categories; professional methods of valuation (appraisal) and possible impact on price formation: creating and manipulating datasets; measuring property performance; analysis to guide portfolio selection; anticipating and evaluating investment opportunities. Specific sector case studies: industrial, retail, commercial, and residential: investment portfolio choice and management. Briefing on course project/essay. Defining research objectives and methodology in practice.


20 hours of lectures, 4 hours of seminars and 8 hours of workshops in the MT. 8 hours of workshops and 20 minutes of help sessions in the LT.

The majority of the lectures in the Michaelmas term are provided by senior practitioners in real estate research and analysis. The seminars/workshop sessions are organised by Dr Ahlfeldt to prepare students for their projects. Time will be allocated for students to have up to 20 minute one-on-one meetings with either Professor Cheshire or Dr Ahlfeldt during the Lent Term to discuss their projects. In addition there will be voluntary statistical/econometric workshops and support available in both the Michaelmas and  Lent terms.

Indicative reading

There is no course text. CSO guides to Government Statistics; publications from Investment Property Databank and other research departments and organisations in the real property markets; Journal of Property Research, Estates Gazette.


Essay (100%, 3000 words).

A 3,000 word project or essay identifying a research problem in real estate markets on a specific issue (e.g., ‘The Impact of the 2008 Financial Crisis on Office Rents in Hong Kong’, ‘Impact of Incomes on House Prices in the UK’, ‘Which Side of Beijing-Tianjin High-Speed Railway Benefits Most in terms of Housing Prices?’ or ‘The Economic Implications of Use-Class Designations in England’') which will require the student to investigate data sources, suggest techniques of data analysis and provide conclusions on the problem set. Topics must be agreed with the teachers responsible.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 12.8
Merit 51.2
Pass 32
Fail 4

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2014/15: 45

Average class size 2014/15: 15

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills