The UNSW Australia Business School held today its inaugural Real Estate Forum, as part of the Real Estate Initiative of CAER.

Professor Walter Torous of the MIT Center for Real Estate and founding director of the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate was invited to speak at the first forum of the series.

Professor Torous presented his cutting edge research on modelling property characteristics which can identify better performing commercial property assets and the implications of his research on commercial real estate portfolio allocation. Professor Torous’ presentation generated considerable discussion on the degree to which these insights on the US market applied directly to property assets in Australia, and the potential value of similar research applied to the Australian property market.

Following the discussion, three short presentations were given by the Forum discussion leaders: Dr Nigel Stapledon, Andrew Roberts Research Fellow in Real Estate at CAER, examined the implications of the current deceleration in income growth on property markets; Mr Mark Baillie, Deputy Chairman of Folkestone, discussed the question of whether the Australian residential property sector is at risk of over-shooting as argued by overseas commentators; and Mr Scott Gray-Spencer, Executive Managing Director of Private Client Group – CBRE, expounded on the attractiveness of Australia as an investment destination and the impact that foreign buyers have on the Australian property sector. Closing remarks for the event were provided by Mr Jonathan Sweeney, Member of Perpetual Trustees Investment Committee.

The Forum is a small by-invitation assembly of leaders in the real estate industry. Through the Forum, the Real Estate Initiative aims to provide interactions with distinguished, thought-leading academics, as well as develop connections with experienced industry leaders who will support its activities with their deep expertise and knowledge.