Evaluating Real Estate Markets

Evaluating Real Estate Markets is designed to help real estate professionals evaluate property investments in terms of better understanding the economic factors that drive real estate markets. Real estate rents, vacancy, and prices are all determined by the operation of selected economic markets. The course examines those markets and how they determine property fundamentals.

The course distinguishes between the markets for real estate space (occupancy) and the market for real estate investment (capital). It goes on to evaluate the impacts of global, macro, and local market forces on both.

Many current issues in real estate are covered in this course. These include the recent and continuing housing “crisis,” the globalization of real estate capital and its impact on pricing, technology, the changing spatial structure of cities (what this means for location decisions), and the evolution and increasing scale of real estate development.

Computer Requirements:

Laptops or tablets are required as course materials will be distributed electronically.

Earn a Professional Certificate in Real Estate Finance & Development
This course is part of the Real Estate Finance & Development certificate program, offered jointly by MIT Professional Education and the MIT Center for Real Estate. 

Learn more about how you can earn a Professional Certificate when you take this and other real estate courses.

This course has been approved for 8 CPD credits toward renewal of the CoreNet Global MCR designation.

Lead Instructor(s): 

William C. Wheaton
Devin Bunten


Jun 12, 2019

Course Length: 

1 Day

Course Fee: 





  • Closed

It is highly recommended that you apply for a course at least 6-8 weeks before the start date to guarantee there will be space available. After that date you may be placed on a waitlist. Courses with low enrollment may be cancelled up to 4 weeks before start date if sufficient enrollments are not met. If you are able to access the online application form, then registration for that particular course is still open.

Registration for this course is closed for Summer 2019.

Participant Takeaways: 

Participants of this course will:

  • Anticipate how U.S. real estate markets will likely behave over the next 10 years
  • Recognize the economic factors driving local real estate markets
  • Understand theories concerning the causes and consequences of market cycles

Who Should Attend: 

This course is applicable to a wide range of professionals across the real estate, banking, finance/investment, and insurance industries. Specifically, the course may be of interest to fund managers, investment portfolio managers, financial advisors, investment bankers, fixed-income analysts, financial risk managers, global financial market specialists, professionals working in macroeconomic policy, real estate brokers, and commercial and residential builders. More generally, this class can be valuable to anyone dealing with global financial markets and real estate investments.

Program Outline: 

Please note that the schedule is subject to change.

Computer Requirements: Laptops or tablets are required to access course materials. All materials will be distributed electronically.

8:00 am 9:00 am: Registration / breakfast

9:00 am – 10:30 am: City Structure and Real Estate Markets

  • Spacial structure (monocentric city and polycentric employment)
  • Neighborhoods and neighborhood change (mean reversion vs rise / decline)
  • Market integration
  • Urban amenities

10:30 am – 10:45 am: Break

10:45 am – noon: Current Patterns and Future Trends in City Spatial Structure

    • Gentrification and commercial real estate
    • Technology and transportation
    • Climate change

    Noon – 1:00 pm: Lunch Break

    Afternoon: Part II, Using Econometrics to Answer the Three Most Important Questions in Property Valuation

    1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: What is the Market Rent for My Property?

    • Hedonic comparative analysis

    2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Where Will Cap Rates Be at My Exit?

    • ECM modeling
    • Relative roles of macro, market, and property factors

    3:00 pm – 3:15 pm: Break

    3:15 pm – 4:45 pm: How Will Market Rents Evolve Over the Next Decade?

    • RAlternative approaches to Time Series Forecasting
    • Back-testing, sensitivity, scenario evaluations

    Course Schedule: 

    Class runs 9:00 am – 4:45 pm.

    Laptops or tablets are required to access course materials. All materials will be distributed electronically.

    Participants’ Comments: 


    “Great course when it comes to understanding the macroeconomic factors shaping the real estate markets globally.”


    “I found this class to be condense, engaging, and quite informative. The professor had obvious mastery of historical data—most of it interestingly counter-intuitive—which I look forward to applying in real life situations.”


    “Being new to the real estate development industry, I found this course to be extremely useful in gaining an understanding of current market trends.”


    “A great crash course in fundamental drivers of real estate markets.”


    “I found the synthesis of ideas and theories to be highly valuable. It will [make] me a more effective analyst and should improve my ability to understand and I hope predict market trends- extremely useful and well worth the time/money. We hope to attend additional MIT/CRE seminars in the future.”


    “Great class, thank you. Helped provide the theory and historical data to validate what I am seeing in the market for attractive opportunities. Also given guidance on what we should avoid.”


    “Thoroughly enjoyed the class; left with a better understanding of how markets act and the breadth of factors which contribute to them.”


    “As an MA in Economics it was great to learn from the academic RE economist; very much appreciated his knowledge and insight; Great class.”


    “Professor Wheaton is extremely engaging and knowledgeable and does a great job of making complex real estate topics understandable; I will certainly use what I learned in my real estate career; very useful basic course.”


    “William Wheaton is very good at explaining real estate information with illustrations; slides and diagrams a perfect aid; sufficient breaks, and thanks for food and hospitality.”


    “Great course – Professor Wheaton was able to explain complex date of economic models into very simple terms. Very helpful course; put all the pieces and bits of information together for an in-depth understanding of what’s driving the RE markets.”



    This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please complete the Custom Programs request form for further details.


    Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (50%) 50
    Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (25%) 25
    Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (25%) 25

    Delivery Methods: 


    Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (80%) 80
    Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (20%) 20


    Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (20%) 20
    Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (50%) 50
    Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level (30%) 30