GY462      Half Unit
Real Estate Finance

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof 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 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.

The number of students that can be accommodated is limited. If the course is over-subscribed, places will be allocated at the Department’s discretion and a waiting list may be created. For further details, please contact your relevant Programme Coordinator.

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; private equity in real estate, structured investment deals and waterfall analysis; fixed and flexible rate mortgage loans and mortgage payment issues; tax transparent real estate investment vehicles (REITs); and current and international trends in real estate (time permitting).


In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online lectures, in-person lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes/seminars and lectures across the Lent Term (plus one revision session in Summer Term).


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


This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Lent Term.


Some enrichment (non-compulsory) activities related to the course might be scheduled during this period (e.g. sessions on cash-flow modelling in excel).

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 (70%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 10 minutes) in the summer exam period.
Presentation (30%) in the LT.

The presentation will involve both individual as well as group work.


Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 27.9
Merit 48.5
Pass 17.2
Fail 6.4

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2020/21: 84

Average class size 2020/21: 21

Controlled access 2020/21: 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