Market Analysis and Urban Economics

This course builds upon the academic literature and the practical experiences which constitutes the accumulated knowledge of urban and real estate economics and finance in order to address two questions: how do real estate markets function in the global macro-economy and how should/can a designer/developer/planner analyze these markets both with regard to the macro and micro aspects of a specific project. The course assumes no prior economic course background and the underlying course philosophy is to teach how GSD students should evaluate markets and how market forces may/can shape urban form and the built environment.

The analytical tools introduced in the course are universal and need to understood to know what the real estate market is “telling” us. The coverage/discussion in lectures of the tools and markets will draw from current real estate market behavior and performance and examples will be drawn from across the world. The course will focus on the markets for the major property types (residential, retail, office) and the role and effects of the equity and debt capital markets.

In addition to two weekly lectures and readings, the course will require a number of problem exercises, a mid-term and a final project. Some of the exercises and the final project will be based on data from real estate vendors and students will learn to navigate the vendor websites as well as how to employ analytically the information available therein. The in-class mid-term exam will be 90 minutes and cover the lecture material in first half of the course.

The final evaluation will be determined as follows:
Exercises and class discussions 30%
Mid Term Exam 30%
Final Project 40%