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                    Real Estate & Planning Research Reports

The full text of some of the major research reports produced by members of the School is available below.
The reports are downloadable in PDF format.
If you do not have the necessary adobe acrobat reader you can download it at no cost.


Housing Markets and Independence in Old Age

Michael Ball with Robert Blanchette, Anupam Nanda and Peter Wyatt
A Research Report Sponsored by McCarthy& Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd

This report outlines the findings of a major piece of research on housing for older people who live in specialist private retirement accommodation, called owner occupied retirement housing (OORH). This type of housing is purchased, on a leasehold basis, and found in specially designed blocks of apartments which have communal facilities, house managers and other networks of support integrated within them. There are currently around 105,000 OORH dwellings in the UK, about 2% of the total number of homes for those aged 65 and over. The report highlights that far more elderly people could benefit from this type of accommodation than live in it now. However, due to supply side constraints created by restrictive planning and housing policies, many older people are not being provided with the opportunity to purchase OORH. Relatively simple policy changes could address this without any cost to the public purse.


Monitoring the 2007 Code for Leasing Business Premises
Neil Crosby and Cathy Hughes

A Research Report for Communities and Local Government

The 2007 Code for Leasing Business Premises is the third in a series of voluntary codes prepared by various stakeholders in the commercial landlord and tenant relationship.  This Code is perceived to be stronger in tone and of more practical use than its predecessors.  There has been a strong focus on dissemination of the Code, particularly to small business tenants. In autumn 2008, Communities and Local Government commissioned the University of Reading to undertake a project with the overall aim of establishing how well the 2007 code is being disseminated. The evidence suggests that awareness of the 2007 Code is no better than that found for the 2002 Code.  In fact small business tenants and small landlords appear to have a lower level of awareness of the current Code than the previous one.  Although some professional advisors may be well informed about the 2007 Code, there is evidence that many are not, despite the efforts of their professional institutions to inform and disseminate.

Real Estate in the Investment Portfolio
Martin Hoesli and Colin Lizieri
A Research Report for the Investment Strategy Council of the Royal Ministry of Finance, Norway
The report examines the role of real estate (public and private) in mixed asset portfolios and provides a framework for the Royal Ministry of 
Finance to consider whether the Government Pension Fund (Global) should include commercial property as an asset class. The report 
draws on literature and empirical analyses of investment performance in Australia, the UK and the USA to illustrate real estate's risk return

An Evaluation of Parish Planning in West Berkshire: Final Report
Gavin Parker and Rachael Luck
A Research Report Funded by the West Berkshire Partnership
The project was completed in late November 2006 and funded through the West Berkshire Partnership. The work involved assessing community planning in the district focussing on the evaluation of completed parish plans and the associated support arrangements. The is the first study of its kind. The project had as its main aim to understand the process of undertaking parish planning and the methods used in assembling the plans. The research also involved parishes in West Berkshire who were not participating in Parish Planinng, to uncover inertias and preventative factors. The findings showed inter alia that a diversity of parishes are involved with a wide population range and different contexts and issues arose. More attention should be paid to methods and inclusivity, that funding and timing could be reorganised and that local citizesnhip and relations of governance were stimulated positively.

An Evaluation of the Policy Implications for the UK of the Approach to Small Business Tenant Legislation in Australia - Main Report
An Evaluation of the Policy Implications for the UK of the Approach to Small Business Tenant Legislation in Australia - Appendices
Neil Crosby
A Research Report Funded by the Education Trusts of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors & the Investment Property Forum
Commercial lease reform is a major policy issue for the UK Government which has encouraged a voluntary solution to perceived problems of lease inflexibility and lack of choice of terms. Along with problems with subletting and upwards only rent reviews, the Government have highlighted its concerns over the lack of awareness of small business tenants.  Based on previous research by a University of Reading research team led by the author, the Government believes that they do not understand the implications signing a lease.  This research addresses this issue in the light of similar problems faced by Australia.  They have adopted a different approach with mandatory codes and small business tenant legislation aimed at mainly small retail tenants.  This research assesses their approach to the small business tenant problem and discusses if any parts of that approach could be used in the UK. 

Private Property Vehicles: the Valuation of Interests in Limited Partnerships
Nina Kutsch, Patrick McAllister and Graeme Newell
RICS research paper series, Volume 6 Number 12
One of the most significant changes in the property investment market over the last decade has been the expansion of private indirect property vehicles. In the UK, in particular, there has been a notable increase in the use of Limited Partnership structures. Fuelled by life insurance companies and property companies seeking to build asset management businesses, many of the major UK investing institutions have been both creating and investing in these new vehicles. A new breed of property professional is emerging and evolving who is managing, operating, creating and advising on investment in interests in these new property vehicles. This sector of the market has developed rapidly and is continuing to mutate and innovate. 
Dissatisfaction with stock market performance has pushed investing institutions towards investment in property assets. Investing institutions have been pulled towards private property vehicles because of the ability to gain access to the property sector in general and to trophy assets in particular without substantial specific risk and major management overheads. Although the product universe is diverse in terms of size of vehicle, legal structure, number of investors, management quality and costs, gearing and, finally, number, spread and types of assets; all structures have in common the wrapping of the property assets in a multiinvestor vehicle.
It is concluded that there is scope for increased consistency and improvement in the valuation of performance fees and debt but that, in the absence of sufficient pricing sugnals, incorporating premiums or discounts to net asset value (NAV) in the valuation is inherently complex.

Who Owns the City 2006 - Office Ownership in the City of London
Colin Lizieri and Nina Kutsch
A Report for Development Securities plc 
Reseach into the ownership of City of London offices shows that 45% of space - some 3 million square metres - is owned by non-UK investors. Who Owns the City 2006 - the third in a series of studies sponsored by Development Securities plc - also highlights the increasing fragmentation of ownership, with many buildings owned jointly or by collective investment vehicles and funds. The ownership patterns are an indicator of the  strengths and attractions of the City market, but also create risks - of greater volatility and vulnerability to external shocks. 

Rethinking the Planning Regulation of Land and Property Markets
Philip Allmendinger and Michael Ball
A Research Report for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister/Department for Communities and Local Government
This research explores the relationship between development control and property development, including housebuilding and develops possible alternatives to the current system of development control. Three alternatives are discussed:

  • co-regulation whereby developers and planners agree an over-riding code of practice in a designated locality
  • a 'positive planning' approach of combined planning and permission
  • a greater use of restrictive covenants in property titles, either for designated land or built structures, limiting in perpetuity what can be built or redeveloped.

The UK Pension Industry
Nina Kutsch and Colin Lizieri
A Research Report for the Pension Real Estate Association
Part of a wider international project sponsored by the US Pension Real Estate Association  the report examines developments in the UK pension industry then reviews pension fund investment in real estate over time - both in terms of the total amount invested and the changing nature of the investment vehicles utilised. Data show the shift away from direct private ownership of property toward indirect investment vehicles both listed and private. Appendices provide a timeline of major events in the industry and five short case studies of the role of real estate in pension fund portfolios. The full international report, published by PREA, can be downloaded here.

Monitoring the 2002 Code of Practice for Commercial Leases - Final Report 
Neil Crosby, Cathy Hughes and Sandi Murdoch 
A report for The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
This report monitors the operation of the 2002 Code of Practice for Commercial Leases and is the latest instalment in a long running policy debate concerning the operation of the commercial property landlord and tenant relationship in the UK. For more than 10 years successive governments have been concerned that business tenants were not being offered sufficient flexibility and choice in lease terms. A particular anxiety has been the use of upward only provision in rent reviews. This report provides evidence to government that will help inform their policy decisions in this area. It shows that while some significant aspects of leases such as lease length, repairing covenants and the operation and timing of tenants' break clauses have become more flexible, other clauses such as assignment and subletting restrictions remain very much as they have in the past. The research also found that the upward only form of review still dominates the UK commercial leasing market. However, because of the fall in lease lengths, it is found that the number of leases with no reviews within them had increased and now stood at over half of all leases. 

Financial Innovation in UK Property Markets: A Review of Trends and Prospects
Colin Lizieri and Charles Ward
A report funded by the Corporation of London
In a major update to their 2001 research for the Corporation of London, Colin Lizieri and Charles Ward review changes to investment and capital flows into UK commercial real estate and consider the impact of the growth of new vehicles and new regulatory structures. The report considers potential impacts of a tax-neutral REIT-like vehicle on UK property. The authors argue that the market is best served by the UK REIT being a simple investment vehicle appropriate for retail investors and the general public.

The Status of Property Valuations: Final Report
Neil Crosby, John Murdoch, Cathy Hughes and Yvonne Mubanga
A Report funded by the ESRC
The overall aim of this report was to understand the process by which property valuations are provided and the research has focused on valuations for secured lending. The objective was to reduce the risk exposure of users and providers by clarifying the legal status of different kinds of valuations, including those based on reduced information. During the course of the research, the emphasis moved from legal issues concerning reliance to valuation process issues of transparency and objectivity. This followed a detailed analysis of 65 valuation negligence cases and information obtained from three discussion groups of residential and commercial property lenders and valuers. It also resulted from recent activity within the relevant professional body, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Based on information from the literature review, analysis of the cases and discussion groups, four questionnaire surveys of residential and commercial valuers and lenders sought to clarify the valuation procurement process.

Promoting More Flexible Investment in Property
Colin Lizieri
Response To HM Treasury / Inland Revenue Consultation Paper
This report is a response to the Treasury's consultation paper on how a new Property Investment Fund (PIF) might be developed for the UK. It is proposed that the PIF will address concerns that barriers in the tax system may be contributing to distortions in the market for property investment. This is resulting in poor liquidity, barriers for smaller investors entering the market and high debt financing levels, all of which may be hindering progress towards a more stable and efficient market. 

Monitoring the Operation of the 2002 Code of Practice for Commercial Leases - Interim Report
Neil Crosby, Cathy Hughes and Sandi Murdoch 
A report for The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
Since 1995, the Government has sponsored two industry Codes of Practice for Commercial Leases with the aim of delivering voluntarily more flexibility and choice within the commercial leasing market. A team from The University of Reading has monitored their operation on behalf of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. This interim report is  the latest instalment in a long running policy debate concerning the operation of the commercial property landlord and tenant relationship in the UK.  The research team are currently working on the second stage of the research which will monitor the second year of the Code from April 2003 to April 2004,  and will produce their final report in December. 

From Rents to Revenues: Can Property Become a Service Industry?
An investigation of the valuation implications of the generation of non-rental income streams by property owners
Patrick McAllister 
A report for the Education Trust of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
The last decade has seen a fundamental shift in the ways that many occupiers and investors regard property assets.  Advisers, owners and occupiers are increasingly financially aware and innovative.  The growing trend for occupiers to outsource property support services and seek flexibility in occupation has been driven by the interrelated forces of new technology, globalization and increased competition.  In the UK, a number of major landlords have argued that these structural shifts provide an opportunity to transform the nature of their business relationships with tenants.  Previous experience of the valuation of over-rented properties, lease inducements and abnormal rent review periods has illustrated how market shifts tend to be followed by confusion surrounding and new developments in valuation methodology. This report investigates the valuation implications of landlords generating revenues from the provision of business support services.

Liquidity and Private Property Vehicles: Where Next?
Andrew Baum and Jane Fear
A report by The University of Reading and Oxford Property Consultants, commissioned and funded by Grosvenor, Invesco Real Estate Advisers and the Investment Property Forum Educational Trust
Despite a clear need for more information there is little available UK research describing the views of investors, managers and advisors concerning the market for private property vehicles, including limited partnerships, property unit trusts and other unquoted collective investment schemes. This is the first major study of its type. Commissioned and funded by Grosvenor, Invesco Real Estate Advisers and the Investment Property Forum Educational Trust, the research was undertaken by the University of Reading and Oxford Property Consultants between January and October 2001.

Who Owns the City 2001
Colin Lizieri,  Melanie Oughton and Andrew Baum
A report funded by Development Securities
In 1998, the results of the Who Owns the City study suprised many in revealing the extent of overseas ownership of office space in the City of London.  An update to that research, Who Owns the City 2001, shows that non-UK ownership in the City now stands at 38%. New investment vehicles have changed the nature of property ownership and have led to increases in both liquidity and volatility in the market. The report  provides detailed analyses of ownership and occupation in the City  and considers the implications of the changes for the future of the  London office market.

Innovations In Property Finance in the UK Market
Colin Lizieri, Charles Ward, Stephen Lee and Scarlett Palmer
A report funded by the Corporation of London and the RICS Foundation
The last few years have seen massive growth in new property investment vehicles, in property backed securitisations and in innovative ways of procuring space. Examples include the 1.5 billion securitisation of office rents from Broadgate, Sainsbury's bond funded sale and leaseback of supermarkets, Abbey National's disposal of its entire corporate property portfolio, the special purpose vehicles used to take property companies such as Wates City of London private and the 338million Monument Securities CMBS issue.

Great claims are made about the benefits of such schemes. The research sounds a note of caution - gains may be offset by hidden costs or constaints on management. The report sets out a framework for asessing the sources of added value and for judging whether any gains are ephemeral or permanent.

Additional related material can be found in a related Departmental Working Paper Financial Alchemy; or a Zero Sum Game? Real Estate Finance, Securitisation and the UK Property Market

The Time Series Performance Of UK Real Estate Indices
Stephen Lee, Colin Lizieri and Charles Ward
A report funded by the Real Estate Research Institute as part of an enquiry into property performance measures in the United States for the US Pensions Real Estate Association
This report forms part of a study funded by the Real Estate Research Institute examining property performance measurement.  Data on the performance of property held by institutional investors  is compared to the public real estate market (in the form of  property company shares) and to other investment assets. In  addition, the behaviour of the “industry benchmark” real estate  performance measure – the Investment Property Databank indices  – will be compared to the indices published by other providers.  Using annual, quarterly and monthly series basic time series  statistics are described and the inter-relationships between  variables discussed. Analysis looks for leading and lagging  relationships, evidence of price discovery and the impact of  smoothing and "stale" valuations. Finally, sector differences are  highlighted, using monthly and quarterly data. 

Lease Structures, Terms and Lengths: Does the UK lease meet Current Business Requirements? A Report on the Attitudes of Occupiers in the UK
Neil Crosby, Virginia Gibson and Melanie Oughton
For the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
As a result of earlier research for the DETR, Crosby and Gibson were commissioned by the RICS to undertake research into the attitude of corporate tenants to the leasing process and to identify their particular concerns.
The research found that issues of the length of occupation and the ability to terminate leases dominated the list of concerns.  International occupiers were particularly concerned over the mismatch between lease term and business planning horizons and the inclusion of breaks clauses were seen as an important element of a modern lease.  The mode and period of rent review were not as important.

The Influence Of Valuers And Valuations On The Workings Of The Commercial Property Investment Market
Andrew Baum, Neil Crosby, Paul Gallimore, Patrick McAllister, Adelaide Gray
Funded by the Education Trusts of the Investment Property Forum, Jones Lang LaSalle and
the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Are valuers simply scorekeepers; or do they actively affect prices, liquidity and turnover in the commercial property investment market?  New research sheds additional light on the real impact that valuers and valuations have on the market. The research concentrated on the production and use by institutional clients of periodic valuations for performance measurement purposes and shows that:

  • valuations can be distorted by the influence of clients
  • fee levels have severally restricted the number of firms able to carry out these valuations profitably. .
  • valuations can alter significantly as a result of the appointment of new valuers or portfolio managers

This research shows clearly that clients influence the periodic valuations of commercial property. Because a small number of firms carry out short term periodic valuations, the way in which individual firms interpret market information and incorporate it into valuations could have an effect on the volatility of indices.

Evaluating Office Space Needs & Choices
Virginia Gibson
In association with Christopher Hedley, IPD Occupiers Property Databank
Andrew Procter and Bill Fennell, Actium Consult
The property market in the UK has changed significantly within the last decade.  Both the demand for and supply of office property have particularly been affected. Occupiers’ requirements for ever-greater flexibility and the landlords' continued search for sustainable returns have resulted in a range of new property products. Shorter contracts, serviced space and outsourcing have increased the diversity of property solutions available to occupiers.

This research sought to answer the question: Are occupiers able to assess these new choices and make informed property decisions?  In order to do this, they must have adequate cost data and a framework for evaluation which ensures that they are comparing equivalent situations. If a serviced office is to be compared with a more traditional leasehold situation, the extra costs of fitting-out and servicing the latter must be incorporated into the process.
The results indicate that there are some forces of resistance to the changing market which come from occupiers. The lack of occupancy cost data and an inability to explicitly separate the cost of the services from the cost of the risk transfer for greater flexibility are inhibiting occupiers from evaluating the new property products in a rational way.  This in turn is acting as an inertial force on the further development of the serviced space market and other innovative property solutions.

Space Race: The Contribution Of Property Markets To The Competitiveness Of London & Frankfurt
Colin Lizieri and Andrew Baum with Nick Williams and Melanie Oughton
Property markets play a key role in the competition for ascendancy as Europe's financial capital. Space Race is the  final report of a major research project funded by Development Securities plc and develops the insights of Who Owns The City? which was published in 1998. The report examines the contribution of property markets to competitiveness and investigates supply and demand in London and Frankfurt. Survey data from the two cities highlights market strengths and weaknesses. The study concludes that London is likely to maintain a dominant role within Europe, but cannot be complacent or ignore threats to its competitive position.


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