GY462      Half Unit
Real Estate Finance

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Olmo Silva S506A


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Real Estate Economics and Finance. This course is available on the MSc in Accounting and Finance, MSc in Management and Regulation of Risk, MSc in Risk and Finance and MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course aims to provide students with concepts and techniques for analysing financial decisions in real estate development and investment. Topics include: basic real estate investment analysis and financial leverage; real options approach applied to real estate; real estate investment performance and portfolio considerations; fixed and flexible rate mortgage loans and mortgage payment issues; debt securitisation (secondary mortgage market & mortgage backed securities); tax transparent real estate investment vehicles (REITs); and international real estate (time permitting).


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

External interventions by real estate practitioners will be scheduled when feasible.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to complete in-class exercises and up to two take-home case-studies.

Indicative reading

Key texts are:

Brueggeman, W. B. and J. D. Fisher (2005) Real Estate Finance & Investments (13th edition or newer), New York City, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin;

Linneman, Peter (2004) Real Estate Finance & Investments: Risks and Opportunities, (2nd edition or newer). Philadelphia: Linneman Associates.

A more detailed reading list will be handed out at the beginning of the course.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 36.7
Merit 33.6
Pass 21
Fail 8.7

Teachers' comment

Note: The high number of distinctions on this course does not denote an 'easy option'. Students are required to work on a number of case-studies and problem sets. Furthermore, they are required to complete a number of readings considered compulsory, but not fully covered during the lectures. As a result, the work-load is considerably high and the module is quite demanding. The distinction rate is more likely justified by the capped number of slots available on this course and the strong motivation of students successfully enrolling. As an indication, only approximately one in three students applying for this course is allowed to take it. The allocation is done on a first-come-first-serve basis at the beginning of Michaelmas Term (with some small adjustments at the beginning of Lent Term).

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2014/15: 77

Average class size 2014/15: 19

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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