Undergraduate Course Descriptions

REAL204 - Real Estate Law (Course Syllabus)

This course examines the fundamentals of real estate finance and development from a legal and managerial perspective. The course serves as a foundation course for real estate majors and provides an introduction to real estate for other students. It attempts to develop skills in using legal concepts in a real estate transactional setting. The course will be of interest to students contemplating careers in accounting, real estate development, real estate finance, city planning, or banking. The main topics covered may include the following: land acquisition, finance; choice of entity; tax aspects; management (leasing, environmental); disposition of real property (sale of mortgaged property, foreclosures, wraparound mortgages, sale-leasebacks); and recent legal developments.

REAL205 - Global Real Estate: Risk, Politics and Culture (Course Syllabus)

This is an introductory course to global real estate markets, with a focus on income-producing real estate assets. Globally, estimates suggest the value of investable real estate assets in the world exceeds $60 trillion. We will discuss the basics of valuation and risk management, emphasizing concepts that are salient in the global context, including political risk, currency risk, property rights and culture. The course will cover markets outside the United States, except for one special topic on international investors in the United States. We will focus more on the qualitative aspects of real estate investment analysis and less on quantitative aspects. As firms expand their ventures across borders, there is a growing emphasis on the ability to assess and manage risk in a global business environment. Many of these decisions have implications on real estate assets. In this class, we will discuss the real estate business decisions of global firms, such as Blackstone, Hilton, AirBNB, WeWork, Prologis, Walmart and Amazon. This is a full semester course, open to undergraduates and MBA's.

Prerequisites: There is no pre-requisite for the course. No prior real estate experience is needed and no prior financial modelling experience is needed.

Other Information: Lecture with discussion required.

REAL208 - Housing Markets (Course Syllabus)

This course is designed for students interested in the economics and operations of housing markets. It is primarily a U.S. focused course, but does include a limited amount of international material for comparative purposes. The class is divided into four sections: (1) supply and demand for housing, including the operations of homebuilders and rental landlords; (2) house prices, including cycles and price dynamics; (3) international comparisons; and (4) public policy analysis applied to a current housing markets-related issue. This course presumes knowledge of intermediate economics, as we will apply that knowledge throughout the semester. For Wharton students, this means you must have passed BEPP 250 (undergrads) or MGEC 611 and 612 for MBA's. Non-Wharton students should have taken the equivalent course in the College.

Prerequisites: Managerial Economics (BEPP 250) or equivalent.

Other Information: Lecture with discussion required.

REAL209 - Real Estate Investment: Analysis and Financing (Course Syllabus)

This course provides an introduction to real estate with a focus on investment and financing issues. Project evaluation, financing strategies, investment decision making and real estate capital markets are covered. No prior knowledge of the industry is required, but students are expected to rapidly acquire a working knowledge of real estate markets. Classes are conducted in a standard lecture format with discussion required. The course contains cases that help students evaluate the impact of more complex financing and capital markets tools used in real estate. There are case studies and two midterms, (depending on instructor).

Prerequisites: FNCE 100

REAL215 - Urban Real Estate Economics (Course Syllabus)

Urban Real Estate Economics uses economic concepts to analyze real estate markets, values and trends. The course focuses on market dynamics in the U.S. and internationally, with an emphasis on how urban growth and local and federal government policies impact urban development and real estate pricing. A group development project gives hands on experience, and invited guest speakers bring industry knowledge. Besides the group project and presentation, problem sets are required along with a midterm and an optional second exam.

Prerequisites: FNCE 100 & FNCE 101

REAL230 - Urban Fiscal Policy (Course Syllabus)

The purpose of this course is to examine the financing of governments in the urban economy. Topics to be covered include the causes and consequences of the urban fiscal crisis, the design of optimal tax and spending policies for local governments, funding of public infrastructures and the workings of the municipal bond market, privatization of government services, and public financial systems for emerging economies. Applications include analyses of recent financial crises, local services and taxes as important determinants of real estate prices, the infrastructure crises, financing and the provision of public education, and fiscal constitutions for new democracies using South Africa as an example.

Prerequisites: FNCE 101 and ECON 001

REAL236 - International Housing Comparisons (Course Syllabus)

This course analyzes housing finance systems and housing market outcomes across the globe. In the US, the course focuses on the development of securitization markets and addresses the current challenges of housing finance reform, including the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Internationally, the course covers issues of access to housing and housing informality in developing countries, financial crises arising out of the housing sector, and market-oriented and public policy solutions. The course features a wide array of speakers in finance, government and academia who contribute their perspectives to pressing issues of mortgage market design.


REAL240 - Advanced Real Estate Investment and Analysis (Course Syllabus)

This course is designed for majors in Real Estate, but is also open to finance-oriented students who wish a deeper analysis of real estate investment and investment analysis issues than that offered in REAL 209. The class will contain a mixture of lectures, guest speakers and case discussions. Academic research is paired with recent industry analysis of key issues in order to marry sound theory and empirical results with current events and practices. Several classes will include lectures outlining what economics and finance tell us about a number of topics. Generally, these will be followed by guest lectures from industry professionals who will focus on a specific application of the principles introduced in the lectures.

Prerequisites: REAL 209 or FNCE 209

REAL321 - Real Estate Development (Course Syllabus)

REAL 821

REAL390 - International Real Estate Comparisons (Course Syllabus)

As a truly non-U.S. focused course, we explore the world of cross-border real estate development, with a focus on fast growing emerging market economies. Topics will emphasize the importance of strategy and implementation in cross-border real estate investment and include: the rationale, opportunities and risks of international real estate investing; the macro factors that influence the performance of real estate markets across countries; market specific factors that impact RE investment performance (property rights, taxes, transparency, planning procedures); the qualitative aspects of identifying and achieving successful projects; and the growing market for international RE securities and strategies for portfolio management. Classes will combine a lecture on specific aspects of global cross-border RE in the first half of the class and international case presentations in the second half. Cases will be presented by leading executives in charge of major international RE projects or funds. Cases have been selected to cover different types of RE development-residential, office, retail, hospitality and logistics- important emerging market countries/continents (East/South Asia, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East) and different development and investment strategies.

Prerequisites: REAL 209 OR FNCE 209

Other Information: This class is offered in the second half of the semester.

REAL396 - Real Estate Entrepreneurship (Course Syllabus)

What makes a successful entrepreneur in the real estate industry? This half semester mini-course exposes undergraduates and MBA students to the broad entrepreneurial aspects of creating and executing real estate investments. The course consists of lectures by the professor, case discussions and guest lectures by leading entrepreneurs. Lectures and discussions will emphasize real estate entrepreneurship, leadership and challenges often encountered in creating successful real estate investments rather than development processes. Cases will be used to illustrate investment decision making and financial evaluations. Short written responses to questions raised in each case will be assigned. Class members are expected to engage the speakers with questions and discussion as well as explain their views on cases. Class participation and writings will each represent 50% of the grade.

Other Information: Offered in the first half of the semester.

REAL399 - Independent Study

All independent studies must be arranged and approved by a Real Estate department faculty member.