Housing systems and real estate

Much of our research under this theme relates to the management of social housing and focuses on social landlord operational functions such as housing allocations, rent collection and the management of anti-social behaviour. It also relates to our interests in the measurement of housing management performance, including via tenant satisfaction assessment. Tenancy sustainment, another area of interest, sits close to the boundary between housing management and homelessness. Our work under the ‘housing governance’ heading has focused, in particular, on stock transfer and the broader restructuring of social housing.

The ‘housing policy’ heading encompasses more wide ranging projects such as our contribution to the Westminster Government’s ‘Evaluation of English Housing Policy Since 1975′ (published 2005) and a recently completed evaluation of impacts attributable to Glasgow Housing Association’s 2003-2010 £1 billion housing investment programme. Another strand has involved studies on government schemes to minimise mortgage repossessions.

Commercial Property Markets

Research interests focus on the economics of property markets and investment but also assess the implications for government policy. Particular interests can be broadly classified as the spatial dimension of real estate markets, property cycles, investment and policy issues.

Research on the spatial dimension of real estate markets ranges from the internal structure of cities through to links with the macroeconomy. Papers have included topics as diverse as:

  • Intra-urban rental patterns of offices and industrial property
  • Office submarkets
  • Differences in commercial and industrial rental trends between towns and cities
  • The nature and structure of spatial industrial property markets
  • Spatial variations in rental depreciation/obsolescence
  • A predictive model of city office rents
  • Valuation accuracy and spatial variations in the efficiency of the property market

The role of the commercial property market in the sustainability of cities

Research on property cycles has encompassed papers on topics as diverse as the impact on urban commercial property yield cycles of varying institutional investment and an analysis of property booms and busts to distinguish cycles or bubbles. Property investment research has considered the potential of diversification at both the international and regional levels, the rise and fall of the high street shop as an investment class and how financial institutions responded to new property forms in the shape of retail warehouses and office parks. Policy oriented research includes the impact of the privatisation of the UK public industrial public stock together with evaluations of property-led local economic development strategies and in particular Enterprise Zones.