Research Themes

Research Themes

Valuation, Leasing and Market Practice

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A key strength of REP's research is its work on the functioning of real estate markets and the aim of this group of researchers is to carry out high quality, objective, applied research into core policy and practice issues facing the real estate industry and their occupiers.

In 2012 Real Estate & Planning celebrated 40 years at Reading and research into core real estate market issues can be traced back to that time, especially work on commercial property appraisal and valuation. The seminal PhD work of Wood and Greaves in the early 1970s has been driven forward by Professor Andrew Baum and Professor David Mackmin in the late 1970s, Professor Andrew Baum and Professor Neil Crosby in the 1980s, Professor Neil Crosby, Professor Nick French and Professor Charles Ward in the 1990s, and by Professor Neil Crosby, Professor Pat McAllister, Professor Peter Wyatt and Catherine Hughes in the last 10 years. Latest additions to this team include Professor Paul Gallimore and Dr Steven Devaney in 2012 creating a critical mass of expertise in the appraisal and valuation field and significant inter-actions with the investment and finance research team.

Appraisal research focused on investment valuation methods in the last century but increasingly the agenda has moved to the valuation process and recent work includes studies on client influence by Professor Neil Crosby and Catherine Hughes; and Professor Neil Crosby, Professor Colin Lizieri (now Cambridge) and Professor Pat McAllister (now UCL) and European valuations by Professor Neil Crosby and Dr Steven Devaney, funded by the Investment Property Forum. However, valuation methods research is currently undergoing a resurgence at Reading because of recent Government policy changes in planning; placing development appraisal and viability at the core of the process. Development appraisal and viability has and continues to be researched by Professor Peter Wyatt, Professor Pat McAllister, Professor Neil Crosby and Professor Peter Byrne funded by the ESRC, Government and RICS.

Another major strand of work on markets is commercial leasing. From 1993 onwards Professor Neil CrosbyCatherine Hughes and Sandi Murdoch (Law) have undertaken a number of studies into commercial leasing for the industry and subsequently for Government on commercial leasing in general and the operation of the code of practice for commercial leases in particular (the last report published in 2009). This research has had direct policy and practice impacts in changing market behaviour and influencing Government legislative decisions.

In addition to collaborations internally, since 2010 Professor Neil CrosbyCatherine Hughes and Professor Peter Wyatt, have worked externally with other leading UK real estate research centres such as Cambridge, Sheffield, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Ulster on externally funded research and bids.

Other recent research activity within this group include the impact of sustainability and energy conservation on values (Professor Peter Wyatt and Professor Pat McAllister), governance within commercial leasing (Catherine Hughes and Professor Neil Crosby), depreciation of direct property investments (Professor Neil Crosby and Dr Steven Devaney) and retail location obsolescence (Catherine Hughes). Professor Neil Crosby and Dr Steven Devaney also played a leading role in establishing the proposed method for the analysis of rental values for property market indices, leading to a major industry consultation by the Investment Property Forum during February and March 2013.

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