Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)

Module ECON3341: Real Estate Finance

Department: Business School (Economics and Finance)

ECON3341: Real Estate Finance

Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to NN43
Tied to N302
Tied to N304
Tied to N402
Tied to N403
Tied to N405
Tied to NN42
Tied to N204
Tied to N206
Tied to N401
Tied to N404
Tied to N406
Tied to N305
Tied to N306
Tied to N307


  • Foundations of Finance and Corporate Finance


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The module seeks:
  • To provide students with knowledge and understanding of questions in real estate finance linked to appropriate methodologies for their analysis.
  • To enable students to rigorously explore issues in real estate finance by using computer programming and professional data sources.
  • To become familiar with the valuation techniques employed in the real estate finance industry.
  • To prepare students to make sound decisions concerning real estate use and investment.
  • To provide students with the opportunity to develop the ability to appreciate academic and applied literature relating to real estate finance.


  • Introduction to real estate finance and investment
  • Legal and regulatory determinants of value
  • Market valuation and appraisal including: Market determinants of value; Forecasting ownership benefits and value; Valuation using the sales comparison and cost approaches; Valuation using the income approach.
  • Laws and legal contracts in real estate finance
  • Real estate financing including: The mortgage contract; Residential mortgage calculations and decisions; Commercial mortgage types and decisions.
  • Real estate brokerage and listing contracts
  • Lease and rental contracts and payments
  • Real estate development: creating and maintaining value

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of this module students should have:
  • developed an advanced knowledge of the central issues and questions in real estate finance;
  • developed an advanced knowledge of the transaction processes in the real estate industry;
  • developed an advanced knowledge of the techniques used to evaluate real estate investment projects.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of this module students should be able to:
  • apply relevant software packages to rigorously explore issues in real estate finance and investment.
  • identify relevant data sources for real estate valuation analysis.
  • critically evaluate the appropriateness of different valuation techniques used by real estate professionals.
Key Skills:
  • Examples are provided to demonstrate how students will have the opportunity to develop the following key skills:
  • Written Communication - through the formative and summative assignments;
  • Planning and Organising - observing the strict assignment deadlines; revising relevant material in preparation for examinations;
  • Problem Solving - e.g. by applying appropriate analytical and quantitative skills to evaluate theoretical concepts using real data;
  • Initiative - e.g. by searching relevant literature, identifying recent developments and information in preparation of the summative assignment;
  • Numeracy - e.g. by analysing real estate market data;
  • Computer Literacy - e.g. by using Excel to analyse financial data and evaluate measures of risk and return. In addition, word-processing the assignments; downloading assignment information and notes from DUO.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching is by lectures and workshops. Learning takes place through attendance at lectures and participation in workshops, including independent study in solving assigned problems beforehand.
  • Formative assessment is by means of an assignment. Feedback will be provided to each individual student which can then be built upon and developed for the summative coursework assignment. Overall feedback and general suggestions for improvements will be posted on DUO.
  • Summative assessment is by means of an assignment designed around the development of an Excel spreadsheet to analyse a real estate valuation problem.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
Revision Lectures 2 1 per week in T3 1 hour 2
Seminars 8 fortnightly 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written exam 2 hours 100% same
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment 1500 words max 100% same

Formative Assessment:

One assignment of not more than 1,500 words, this will be centred around problem solving using Excel.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University