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Real Estate Finance (MSc Finance)

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The Real Estate Finance track provides you with an in-depth understanding of real estate markets and valuation in the context of international finance. This track is one of 7 tracks you can opt for in our Master's in Finance.

Help investors make substantial real estate decisions

Comparing investments into real estate versus stocks, bonds, or other financial instruments lies at the core of real estate finance. In this track you learn models for valuing residential and commercial real estate properties, and the markets that allow investors to allocate savings into real estate. You further learn how real estate assets affect the returns and risk of investment portfolios.  

If you are interested in pursuing a career in real estate valuation or development of real estate properties, as well as investment funds that focus on real estate assets, this is the track for you.

Why choose the Real Estate Finance track?

  1. This is one of the tracks of our MSc Finance, but it consists almost completely of compulsory courses only. This provides you with a solid grounding in all aspects of the discipline. 
  2. You will be lectured by professors and experts working in a wide range of financial organisations and fields. Therefore, you have access to up-to-date cases and learnings from the field of real estate finance.
  3. After graduation, you have an excellent job prospect as e.g. asset manager, securitisation specialist or international property broker.
Copyright: FEB / UvA
You discuss many cases with your fellow students. This triggers you constantly to come up with proper arguments to support your point of view. Hugo Roosjen, Real Estate Finance track Read about Hugo's experiences with this Master's

Track-specific courses

Although this is one of the tracks of the MSc Finance, your study programma almost completely consists of track-specific courses and electives.

  • Real Estate Markets and Analysis 1

    In this course you will focus on private markets for commercial real estate. First we will introduce real estate as an investment class and will explain relevant market indicators. After this, you will discuss important topics such as:

    • real estate market cycles;
    • the relationship between real estate markets, the wider economy and financial markets;
    • forecasting of real estate markets;
    • the role of location theories;
    • pricing of real estate and international convergence.
  • Real Estate Valuation

    In this course you will cover the basic methods to value real estate objects (the DC and DCF method). You will discuss how and when to use the right method and how to get the information (parameters) necessary to do an appraisal. You will learn how to use these methods through several practical case assignments and exercises.

  • Advanced Real Estate Valuation

    This course builds on the knowledge and skills from the Real Estate Valuation course. You will discuss valuations from an investment perspective and will explore topics such as retail valuation, land valuation, the cost approach, the sales comparison approach and automated valuation models of residential properties. You will participate in practical valuation case assignments and a computer workshop. Further topics include confirmation bias in valuation, and advanced DFC analysis.

  • Real Estate Markets and Analysis 2

    This course elaborates on your knowledge acquired in Real Estate Markets and Analysis 1. You will discuss concepts and analyse tools in more detail and will study the private investment markets, primary mortgage markets and markets for residential and retail properties. 

    Perform your own real-live market research

    An important and exciting part of this course is the real estate group assignment. You will perform your own real-life market research and construct an investment advice that you will present to a jury of investment practitioners.

  • Real Estate Finance

    In this course you will deep-dive into the financing choice for (international) real estate assets. You will gain the necessary tools to analyse the different funding structures and their market pricing and relative risk. Also, you will learn to analyse financing instruments and markets, with particular focus on mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. Finally, you will learn a real option approach to value real estate developments.

  • Electives

    Choose 1 out of 2 electives:

    • International Housing Markets
    • Real Estate and Alternative Investments
Real-life case: Valuation of an office/educational building 

How do you determine the market value of an office building, in this case the Leeuwenburg building in Amsterdam (picture)? You will visit the office, get information about rents, and have to write a valuation report. This report is presented and evaluated under the supervision of Cushman & Wakefield.

More real-life cases

  • Valuation of a retail building - How do you determine the market value of a retail building? You will get detailed information about floorplans, rental agreements, and will have to write a valuation report. This report is presented and evaluated under the supervision of CBRE.
  • Portfolio construction in real estate - Real estate is a very specific heterogeneous asset class. How do you incorporate that when constructing an asset portfolio? You will apply the theory and techniques (Markowitz portfolio optimization) on portfolio construction to real-life data from the perspective of a Dutch or American pension fund, and/or British and Dutch institutional investors. This case is provided by Ortec Finance.
  • Real estate finance of real estate transactions - Real estate is typically bought using external financing. In this case you need to discuss the ins and outs of financing the Blackstone (wisdom) portfolio, the Bajeskwartier (has sustainability goals), and a residential portfolio held by DM equities. This case is led by ABN AMRO which is part of the financing of these real estate transactions. 

Contemporary issues

  • What is the role of flex offices in the modern economy? Do they make sense as a commercial product or investment?
  • Does it make sense to diversify real estate investment internationally? And how crucial is sustainable investing for your portfolio?
  • Is buying your own house a good investment? Should governments encourage banks to tighten or loosen mortgage provision?

Career prospects

Graduates of the Master's in Finance/Real Estate Finance track have excellent job prospects for positions as asset manager, securitisation specialist or international property broker. You may also choose a career in stock analysis, acquisitions or credit management, or become an appraiser, consultant or project manager at Dutch or international companies, such as:

  • CBRE
  • Cushman & Wakefield
  • ING
  • ABN Amro
Facts & Figures
Degree programme MSc Business Economics
Type Regular study programme
Mode Full-time
Credits 60 ECTS, 12 months
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
CROHO code 60901