Our Association

The SPR has been representing property researchers since 1987.  Their seminars debate topical issues and the networking opportunities are unrivalled.  (They also count towards CPD hours.)  Junior analysts are able to rub shoulders with Heads of Research Departments often in informal situations.  SPR often collaborates with other associations to offer events with a wider appeal and is a member of the Property Industrial Alliance group.  Site visits are arranged for members to see 'behind the scenes' of major developments and SPR members also have the opportunity to access discounted rates to attend related courses and conferences organised by similar organisations.

Report on recent SPR event

2017 Nick Tyrrell Research Prize Presentation, 8th March 2018, Simmons & Simmons LLP

 Dr Avis Devine  Dr Erkan Yönder, who won the 2017 Nick Tyrrell Research Prize with their paper ‘Decomposing the Value Effects of Sustainable Real Estate Investment: International Evidence,’ presented their work at the meeting.

Recent research has confirmed the property-level benefits of sustainable buildings in terms of asset value premiums and tenant satisfaction. But so far the portfolio benefits have not been as clear.  There has been some work on the corporate benefit to REITs of owning energy efficient buildings, but as yet there is little evidence of the mechanisms underlying these benefits, or how they differ from country to country.  Devine and Yönder’s research aimed to bridge this gap.

The research looked at both the operational and value effects on US and UK REITs from owning sustainable buildings.  The buildings were defined by energy-use certifications including LEED and BREEAM, while the ‘greenness’ of the portfolio was measured using a ‘green-share’ methodology.

Devine and Yönder concluded that a higher green share had benefits both at the operational and value level, though this was clearer from the US data than for the UK.  On the operational side, there were higher cash flows and lower corporate-level expenses, in particular interest payments.  And from a valuation perspective, green REITs were seen to trade at a higher relative value (price/NAV) while their risk (market beta) was substantially lower.

One other notable – and perhaps counter-intuitive – finding was that REITs with a high green share had larger operating expenses as well as higher cash flows.  Clearly sustainable buildings tend to have more sophisticated operating systems, so perhaps this shouldn’t really be a surprise.

Mathieu Elshout of PGGM joined Devine and Yönder for a panel discussion after their presentation.  He commended the research for its evidence on transmission mechanisms for sustainability, saying that many investors, including PGGM, believe in making sustainable investments, but this work provides strong empirical evidence on the corporate benefits, which should prove valuable in backing up investment decisions.

Paul McNamara, who chaired the meeting, declared that the quality of the 22 entries for this year’s prize was very strong, perhaps even exceeding the high bar set in previous years.  Entrants not only came from the UK, but also elsewhere in Europe (as in this case) and from Asia – and from industry research departments as well as from academia.

Tim Horsey

Chair's blog

Since taking over as SPR Chair at the Society’s AGM in early November, the last three months have whizzed past!

Firstly, well done to Vanessa on delivering a great new website and a superb 30th Anniversary Conference in her year as Chair, while also keeping the regular socials, seminars and other events going. Last year’s series of tech seminars were also a highlight for the Society and its members.

Talking of highlights, my year in office kicked off with our hugely well-attended Annual Dinner, held at the Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall. The Society owes a debt of gratitude to Roger Bootle, who acted as ‘sponsor’ to allow us to make use of the venue. We are also hugely grateful for our two headline sponsors of the event, who have been supporting us for a number of years, Oxford Economics and Cobalt Recruitment. This year was the first year in which we had an After Dinner speaker, a model that seems to have been well-received and created a crescendo of excitement during the evening. Thank you also to our raffle prize contributors.

Since the Annual Dinner, the Committee has been working hard behind the scenes to get events up and running for 2018. We kick-started this year’s seminars with two joint events – the European Logistics with the ULI and the UK Property Outlook with the IPF.  Our next seminar, on March 8th, is the Presentation of the Nick Tyrrell Research Prize-winning paper. Look out for information about our upcoming retail seminar series, with the first event likely in late April. Before then, there will be a site visit to a large shopping centre. 9th March is the date for that one!

Apart from all the learning, we like to keep things social! The first social event of the year is in the diary and fully booked – King Pin Bowling – being held at the All Star Lanes on Brick Lane on Wednesday 21st February. If you have missed out, then the much-loved Annual Pub Quiz will also be upon us soon, so look out for information about that, on our events page.

Additionally, to keep up to date with happenings at past events, and to read blogs from committee members click here.

Finally, there is one other area, which has been touched upon at previous AGMs, which is finding a way for the Society to recognise new or particularly interesting applied research, conducted as part of a researcher’s day job and with a business purpose. This is wholly separate to the Nick Tyrrell Research prize fund (remind yourself of its purpose, previous winners and respond to the call for papers by clicking here), to which the SPR is one of three donor organisations.

As a Society it’s hugely important that we encourage the next generation of researchers, forecasters, strategists and analysts, as well as those who may already have been around a few years, to push the envelope. This may mean finding new ways of analysing markets or uncovering new insights, but importantly, they need to be ready to be applied to markets to help investors, developers, valuers, bankers, brokers and others better understand property markets. Please look out for more detailed information about a new SPR research prize along these lines.


Kiran Raichura
February 2018


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