This is a busy but exciting time for everyone involved with the Runstad Center. This year will see both the creation of an independent Department of Real Estate within the College of Built Environments and the development of a new undergraduate minor to complement the well established MSRE program.
These are milestones in the evolution of real estate at UW. The creation of a separate and distinct department highlights the commitment and ambition at the University of Washington to develop a world class center of excellence in real estate research and education. As part of that we are currently in the process of hiring three new faculty. This expansion will provide the center and the new department with a level of scale it has not had the luxury of before. That will allow us to do a lot more in the classroom and in research, both academic and industry facing. Our applied research program has been added to significantly following the arrival in January of our new Research Director, James Young. More news on James is contained later in the news letter.
In addition to all of these new developments we’ve also seen considerable activity across the center. Our 2017 class recently graduated, whilst the fellows program goes from strength to strength. The 2016 fellows visit to Auckland has been an outstanding success with the group presenting their work at a wide variety of different events. The 2017 fellows have recently returned from Australia, visiting both Sydney and Melbourne. I would as always like to thank the incredible support we receive from the real estate industry. This includes all those members of our advisory board, our affiliate faculty, mentors and those firms that help with our internship program. We could not deliver the level of educational quality in our programs without this ongoing support. I would in particular like to thank and acknowledge Peter Orser. Peter went above and beyond the call of duty by stepping in as interim director of the center for 18 months prior to my arrival. We are lucky that we continue to have his considerable experience and expertise on call as the Chair of the Advisory Board.
New Research Director
The Runstad Center welcomed its new research director in January, James Young. He brings to the center considerable industry and academic expertise. After spending twenty years in the industry both in the USA and Europe James has spent the last decade at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, where he was a tenured academic in the Department of Property. James will be heading up our applied industry facing research program, including our quarterly housing reports for the State. We also intend to expand our work considerably with a range of new research initiatives, including a major push into the commercial real estate sector. In addition to his applied work James will continue to pursue his academic research interests which currently focus upon housing supply, spatial econometrics and auctions.