Market Analysis and Urban Economics

This course examines contemporary real estate trends and cycles. It introduces students to the concepts, models, and methods used to analyze how economic forces impact (re)development processes, land values, and locational patterns in urban property markets. The course is structured as lectures and workshops. Readings draw from classic, recent, and current works in urban economics, planning, and academic real estate literatures to link contemporary real estate dynamics to their historical and theoretical foundations. In-class workshops develop technical skills used to analyze project feasibility, map changing demographic patterns, identify new markets, and measure investment opportunities. Guest lectures by active real estate professionals will offer students the opportunity to learn from practitioners currently operating in the marketplace. 

Major themes of the course include: 

– Core economic concepts such as rent, agglomeration, and externalities, as well as their spatial correlates; 

– The relationship between the global economy and local property markets; 

– The impact changing demographic, environmental, political, and economic patterns have on cities; 

– How equity and debt influence leasing and capital markets for commercial, industrial, retail, and residential properties; 

– State regulation, incentives, and intervention into real estate markets; and 

– Quantitative and qualitative techniques used to evaluate the impact of the above processes. 

Evaluation: Based on weekly problem sets, take-home assignments, an in-class midterm, and a final project/paper. 

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to: 

– Measure, evaluate, and understand real estate market forces that shape and influence urban planning and design, and determine the success or failure of an architect’s/designer's/urban planner’s vision or project; 

– Analyze how urban land and real estate markets function and compete in the global economy; and 

– Evaluate markets with regard to the macro and micro aspects of a specific project. 

The course assumes no previous economic knowledge or training. There will be $45 fee for software licensing.