Graduate School

Selected topics in real estate valuation and investments

This course is part of the programme:
Cultural Heritage Studies (Third Level)- Double Degree

Objectives and competences

Students must get acquainted with:

  • knowledge of the mechanisms of price formation in different market forms;
  • knowledge of the property market and the construction market, their forms, their actors;
  • knowledge of data analysis and basic knowledge of descriptive statistics;
  • knowledge of financial mathematics, time value of money, cash flow valuation;
  • knowledge of the main methods for price and income valuations;
  • knowledge of the use of real estate investment techniques;
  • knowledge of cash flow analyis and risk analysis


No specific prerequisites are required.

Content (Syllabus outline)

1. Economics

1.1. Introduction to economics: prices, demand, supply.

1.2. Consumer behaviour: consumer choice, demand and price elasticity.

1.3. Supply behaviour: function and production costs.

1.4 Market forms.

1.5. The real estate market

1.6. The construction market.

2. Real estate Valuation and prices

2.1. Market value.

2.2. The Market Comparison Approach (MCA).

2.3. Financial mathematics.

2.4. Time value of money.

2.5. Discount rate and interest rate.

2.6. Valuing cash flow.

2.7. Estimating present value and future value.

2.8. Annuities.

2.9. Sinking funds.

2.10. Mortages and amortisation.

2.11. Income approaches.

2.12. Hedonic prices.

2.13. The cost of construction and refurbishment.

3. Real estate investment decision techniques

3.1. The capital budgeting process.

3.2. The residual analysis.

3.3. Pay back periods.

3.4. Return on investments.

3.5. Net present value.

3.6. Internal rate of return.

3.7. Risk analysis.

3.8. The life cycle cost.

3.9. Cost-benefit analysis.

3.10. Discounted cash flow analysis.

Intended learning outcomes

The course is providing students with the main skills as the following:

  • analyze the market according to supply and demand in order to prepare and organise projects reflecting user needs and the competitive framework;
  • understand prices formation and market forms;
  • use property valuation and cost planning;
  • include the architectural project within the complex economic relations of the real estate market and the construction sector;
  • value the built environment with particular reference to the financing of real estate projects, both public and private;
  • use the most important real estate investment techniques.


Baum Andrew, (2015), Real Estate Investment, 3 edition, Routledge.

Baum Andrew, Hartzel, (2012), Global Property Investment: Strategies, Structures and Decision, Wiley – Blackwell.

Graham Squires, Erwin Heurkens, (2014), International Approaches to Real Estate Development, Routledge.

Greer G.E., Kolbe P.T. (2009), Investment Analysis for Real Estate Decisions, Kaplan AEC Education.

Havard T. (2008), Contemporary Property Development, RIBA Publishing.

Havard T. (2013), Financial Feasibility Studies for Property Development: Theory and Practice, Taylor & Francis.

Myers D. (2011) Economics & Property, Elsevier/EG Books.

Myers D. (2012) Construction economics: A New Approach, Taylor & Francis.

Peter Dent, Michael Patrick, Xu Ye, (2013), Real Estate Property Markets and Sustainable Behaviour, Routledge

Reed R., Sims S. (2014), Property Development, Taylor & Francis.

Stephen F. Fanning, (2014) Market Analysis for Real Estate (2 edition), Appraisal Institute.

Brown G., Matysiak G. (2000), Real Estate Investment, A Capital Market Approach, Prentice – Hall.


During the course students prepare individual projects of Discounted cash flow analysis of an real estate investment All projects are prepared in a written form and can be defend orally in an open discussion with professor and students. 50/50

Lecturer's references

Lecturer at the University of Ferrara.

University course code: 3SKD2061

Year of study: 1

Semester: 1-2

Course principal:




  • Lectures: 12 hours
  • Seminar: 8 hours
  • Individual work: 70 hours

Course type: specific elective

Languages: english

Learning and teaching methods:
• lectures • individual project work • presentation and interpretation of project results to other students in open discussion under supervision of the lecturer responsible for the course