Wharton News: November 2012
The Asian Real Estate Scene
Joe Gyourko was a panelist on "The State of China's Property Markets and Policy Measures" at a forum sponsored by ULI and the National University of Singapore's Institute of Real Estate Studies on September 21 in Singapore. Gyourko outlined the recent swings that the Chinese property market has experienced. "There has been a spectacular run-up in land prices in China," he said. "The index we have is for 35 cities... Eleven of those cities, since 2003, have had compound annual average growth rates above 20 percent.... There are another 15 of those cities between 10 and 20 percent." Since the Chinese government instituted cooling measures, however, "We have seen the beginnings of some real declines in the land market, not the housing market. In the land market we have seen some collapses, and that raises the question of what will that do to the broader economy."
Urban development in Colombia
Professor Duranton is also lead foreign expert of a large urban mission for the Colombian Ministry of Planning. This wide ranging review of Colombian cities is headed by former foreign minister and ambassador to Washington Carolina Barco. The mission employs 10 teams to consultants covering all major aspects of urbanization in Colombia from institutional reform of Colombian cities to competitiveness and transportation issues. The mission will provide a series of recommendations for urban development in Colombia as the country seeks to modernize its infrastructure and improve its human capital.
Out of Africa
Wharton's IHFP and the Graduate School of Business of Cape Town University in South Africa have jointly conducted a successful Executive Education course "Expanding Housing Finance Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa." The weeklong program, October 1-6, drew participants from central banks, financial institutions, housing funds, pension funds, housing departments, local authorities and academia from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Most of the finance classes are now taught by faculty from Cape Town University's Business School. Wharton's IHFP supports curriculum development and continues to trained CTU faculty. Marja Hoek-Smit, IHFP's director, still co-teaches part of the curriculum, but the aim is to fully divest the program in a few years to the Executive Education Division of Cape Town University's Graduate School of Business. Program sponsors are the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance and the African Union for Housing Finance. The collaboration will be extended into a joint research program.
Members of the class of 2012.
A field visit to a low-income housing project that is part of a slum-clearance program in Cape Town.
An introduction to the project by the developer.
Dean Georgette Chapman Phillips and her husband, Peter Phillips, at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro
At the top of the world
Never one to just sit around during her free time, Georgette Chapman Phillips, David B. Ford Professor of Real Estate and Vice Dean and Director Undergraduate Division, The Wharton School, recently summited Mount Kilimanjaro.
An addition to the Real Estate family
Professor Maisy Wong gave birth to her first child, a girl, Nadya Fay Wong, on Monday, October 15. Nadya weighed in at 6 pounds, 4 ounces, and is 18.5 inches long. Congratulations to Maisy and her husband, Najib.
Housing Issues in the 21st Century
Susan Wachter has been in the middle of researching, writing, speaking, and convening on the issue of housing finance reform, starting with the book that came out last year, articles that have been published and are being published on the need for standardization and now that this has become more recognized, the current push for standardization in a newly restructured housing finance system.
Dr. Susan Wachter was a panelist on "Bringing Private Capital Back into Housing Markets" at the Progressive Policy Institute and the American Action Forum at the National Press Club on October 2. The event was sponsored by the American Action Forum and the Progressive Policy Institute. She was later quoted by The Hill (blog) in "Mortgage finance system overhaul way down the road". Dr. Wachter was the keynote speaker at the Maxwell Policy Research Symposium—Housing Issues in the 21st Century, organized by the Center for Policy Research and the Maxwell School at Syracuse University on September 21. She was a panelist commenting on "Residential Mortgage Outlook" on September 13 in New York City at the Regulatory & Risk Rodeo Conference, organized by CreditSights.
Dr. Wachter was quoted in the Industry Leader Magazine in "Rising home prices in the U.S. hit highest level in 2 years" on September 27. Knowledge@Wharton quoted Dr. Wachter in "Why the Housing Market is Poised to Enter a 'Virtuous Cycle'" on September 26. Dr. Wachter was quoted in a MarketWatch article, “The devil in the housing report details” on September 25.
The article "Will Property Prices Need a Crutch as the Population Ages" from CoStar Group quoted Dr. Wachter on September 12. Gill Gross of Real Estate Today Radio interviewed Dr. Wachter on September 7 for a piece on the current real estate market. Dr. Wachter was interviewed on CNBC on September 24 on “The Housing Disconnect”. She was interviewed on Bloomberg Bottom Line on September 21 for an article on the outlook of the housing market.