Sustainable Real Estate Economics and Finance in Asia

This one-week compact course on sustainable real estate will take place during autumn term break in Singapore. It allows course participants to experience firsthand (and learn from) this outstanding metropolis, which manifested its reputation as one of the greenest, smartest, and most sustainable cities across the globe. Prof. Dr. Kathleen Kürschner Rauck will guide course participants to reflect on environmental and social sustainability challenges and how they may be addressed in the context of urban planning, public policy, real estate development, real estate finance and investments in the Asia region.

Course Objective

The objective of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the residential and the commercial real estate market to evaluate opportunities and challenges for urban planning, real estate development and finance in Asia. Course participants will also be trained in empirical real estate analysis using R and become introduced to selected geographic information system (GIS) software (applications) that can be utilised in empirical real estate research.

Course Content

This dynamic and hands‑on course will provide participants with an overview and understanding of sustainability‑related topics in urban planning, associated challenges and solutions, in Singapore and the Asia region, and how these are linked to real estate economics and finance, more generally. Course participants will be challenged to present an overview of, and reflect on, sustainability issues and practices in selected Asian countries. Furthermore, course participants are introduced to quantitative methods in cross sectional, panel, and spatial data analysis, as well as exemplary applications of these methods in real estate research. Applications of these methods in empirical tutorials (exercise classes) as well as an empirical group assignment, allows course participants to familiarise with the learnings and to gain practical experience.

The course will be structured according to the following aspects:

Module 1 

Introduction to Real Estate Markets: Overview and Definition of ʺReal Estateʺ; The Real Estate Market; DiPasquale‑Wheaton Four Quadrant Model; Sustainability in Asia; Country‑briefing Discussions

Empirical Tutorials:
• Introduction to R, R Studio and R Markdown
• Real Estate Data, Descriptive Statistics and Maps

Module 2

Sustainable Real Estate Finance and Investments: Green Investing in the Real Estate Sector; ESG‑Ratings; Sustainability Certificates; Green Mortgages; Green Buildings; Performance of Sustainable Buildings

Empirical Tutorial:
• Hedonic Regression
• Panel Regression

Module 3

Urban Planning and Public Sustainability Policies: (Transportation) Infrastructure Planning; Greenspace, Traffic, and Production Externalities; Water and Waste Management; Biodiversity; CO2‑Benchmarking; Sustainable Real Estate Development; Land‑use Regulations; Congestion Tolls; Private Driving Restrictions; Public Transportation Subsidies; Reflection on Cases from the Asia Region

Empirical Tutorials:
• Measuring Distances
• Spatial Regression
• Introduction to Geographic Information System (GIS) Software (GeoDa and QGIS)
• Selected QGIS Practicals, e.g., Creating Maps; Spatial Data Joins; Georeferencing and Editing; Point in Polygon Analysis; Polygon to Polygon Overlay
• Research Question Workshop for Empirical Project

Course Structure

The course starts with a mandatory introductory kick‑off session in St. Gallen. The core part of the course will be taught during the first week of the mid‑term break, at the St. Gallen Institute of Management in Asia, which is the local institute of the University of St.Gallen in Singapore.

The course offers lectures (classic in‑class teaching), country briefings, case analyses/discussions, and empirical tutorials (exercise classes using R and GIS software). A guest lecturer and/or field visits will deliver insights into practical experiences and complement the learnings of the course.

For further information and to find out when the next course takes place, please refer to the course information sheet on the HSG website under course directory.  

Application Procedure

The course is offered to students from the MBF program and open to students in the MACFin program. There are a total of 20 spaces available, which will be assigned in a special application process prior to the preliminary round of bidding for the fall semester (i.e., no bidding required). Applications usually entail a short motivation statement and a CV. For detailed information, please consult the course information sheet published on course directory or contact Prof. Dr. Kathleen Kürschner Rauck directly.