News from Real Estate & Planning

While most of us have been enjoying the quieter time that the summer normally brings and the rare bit of sunshine we've had, our colleagues in the School of Real Estate and Planning have had a busy few months of academic conferences and research. Here's a taster of some of their activity:

REP Publishes Major New Findings on the Link Between Energy Efficiency and House Prices

Professor Pete Wyatt and Dr Anupam Nanda joined researchers from Cambridge and UCL on a major research project for the Department of Energy and Climate. They have found the first concrete evidence of a link between energy efficiency measures in the home and the property prices. Although on the face of it this link might seem obvious, the difficulty for researchers has been trying to control for other factors; installing double-glazing or a new boiler is often combined with more general home improvements which would lead to an increase in value. Using a very large data set and as much information as possible about the features that are known to influence house prices, this research is the first to show that there is a consistent increase in house price associated with higher EPC ratings. Read the paper here:

Fuerst, F., McAllister, P., Nanda, A. and Wyatt, P. (2013) Is Energy Efficiency Priced in the Housing Market? Some Evidence from the United Kingdom. Working Papers in Real Estate & Planning. 01/13. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp35.

The research has also received a large amount of press coverage which you can view below:

Gov.UK Daily Mail This is Money The Construction Index AOL

Kirsten Alke attends Paper Development Masterclass

Third year PhD student in Real Estate & Planning, Kirsten Alke who is sponsored by RREF, was selected to participate in the 'Researching Professionals, Their Work, and Organizations Masterclass', co-sponsored by the CASS Centre for Professional Services Firms and the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies / Journal of Management Studies.

The masterclass brings leading scholars of professionals, professional service firms, and the professions together with early career researchers and doctoral students. Participants presented full papers to masterclass panellists and received detailed, developmental feedback with a view to developing their papers for publication in leading journals. Panellists also offered more general professional development advice focusing on key issues associated with researching and publishing in this field.

Kirsten's paper, Crossing boundaries in international professional planning career trajectories: The experiences of migrant planners working in the South East of England, will report the preliminary results of her dissertation research which is being supported by RREF. The research investigates the significance of transnational flows of planners for globalised professional activity, contesting the conventional view of professions, professional cultural identity and what professionals do.

Dr. Emma Street presents at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference

Emma presented twice at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual International Conference, the theme of which was 'New Frontiers'. Abstracts of the papers are shown below and the full papers will be available in the November newsletter.

Raco, M., Street, E. and Freire-Trigo, S. (2013), 'Privatising Democracy? The Transformation of Local State-Market Relations in Urban Governance'.

This paper takes as its focus the expanded set of urban governance responsibilities that have been taken up by private companies in recent years. Drawing on examples from London's South Bank, an area that has undergone significant business-led regeneration in recent decades, it examines the ways in which private consultancies and other business actors carefully manage what remain fiercely contested local urban development agendas. Such groups mediate community engagement and produce key planning documents through part of what they typically describe as 'open and dynamic' conversations with key stakeholders. One consequence of this is that citizens' experiences of the local 'state' are increasingly likely to be with private-sector actors, who work for the state 'at-a-distance' under contract. This has significant implications for understandings of citizenship and raises a series of questions about political legitimacy. The paper suggests that the emergence of new privatised modalities of local governance both reflects and reproduces wider changes in regulatory capitalism and the de-professionalisation of state planning systems. We show how the latter has been championed under the auspices of 'cost-saving' and the mobilisation of private sector 'expertise'; agendas that are becoming increasingly predominant under the condition(s) of austerity. We argue there is an urgent need to better understand how localised modalities of contracted-out governance affect policy-making processes and impact upon democratic processes.

McAllister, P., Street, E., and Wyatt, P. (2013), 'Inside the Black Box: Unravelling the Development Viability Appraisal Process', paper presented at the RGS with IBG Annual International Conference, London 27-30 August 2013

Development viability has, in recent years, become firmly embedded within the English planning system, with the NPPF (2012) calling for planners to pay 'careful attention to viability' (NPPF, 2012: 41). Viability models are an increasingly key part of the evidence base used in site-specific negotiations between local planning authorities (LPA) and property developers. Yet guidance from professional and quasi-governmental bodies on development viability has, so far, been limited, and largely focussed on matters such as definitions and inputs (see RICS, 2012). There has been little discussion or critical investigation of the process of assessing viability, with the result that much of the process remains a 'black box'. This is of concern given that the methods (and assumptions therein) for assessing viability are often contested and controversial, reflecting the high stakes riding on development and planning decisions for different interest groups. Drawing upon interviews involving the main producers of development viability models and appraisals, this paper aims to fill this gap, and investigates how development viability is tested in practice. The paper brings together well-established literatures in real estate appraisal (client feedback and influence) and urban planning (collaborative planning, participation and consultation), to critically evaluate the role and contribution of clients and other stakeholders in influencing the inputs and outputs of development viability models.

Awards and New Starters

American Real Estate Society Award for Paul Gallimore

Professor Paul Gallimore has been awarded the "Best in Category" by ARES for his paper "Out-of-Town Market Buyers: Anchored by Local Prices and Proximity". The paper, which is co-authored by Jonathan Wiley and Yu Liu of Georgia State University, was presented at the American Real Estate Society annual meeting in Hawaii earlier this year.

Research Assistant appointed for PrICELESS Design project

Philip Black will be joining REP as a Research Assistant on the EPSRC-funded project, PrICELESS Design (Promoting Independent Cycling for Enhancing Later-Life Experience and Social Synergy through Design). He will be based at the University for two years from the 1st October 2013 to work on the £1.5m project with Dr Emma Street and Dr Carien van Reekum. Philip has a PhD from the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen's University Belfast and an MSc in Environmental Planning.




Things to do now


Contact us

  • Telephone:
    +44 (0) 118 378 4069
  • Email: 

Page navigation


Search Form

A-Z lists