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Research Publications

Virginia Tech faculty and students work in collaboration with industry and professional associations to conduct interdisciplinary research to advance the real estate industry. To discuss a potential collaboration, please email

Completed Projects:

  • Amenities, Affordability, and Housing Vouchers, David Bieri, 2018
    Against the background of an emerging rental affordability crisis, we examine how the standard rule that households should not spend more than 30percent of their income on housing expenditures leads to inefficiencies in the context of federal low-income housing policy. We quantify how the current practice of locally indexing individual rent subsidies in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program regardless of quality-of-life conditions implicitly incentivizes recipients to live in high-amenity areas. We also assess a novel scenario for housing policy reform that adjusts subsidies by the amenity expenditures of low-income households, permitting national HCV program coverage to increase.
    Click here to see the full report. 

  • Five Cities Taking Steps to Improve Access and Availablility, Dustin Read, 2017
    The relationship between rental housing affordability and the economic vitality of U.S. cities has emerged as an important topic of conversation in policy circles over the last decade because rental units are increasingly becoming the tenure choice of several important segments of the workforce. Low-wage workers, recent college graduates, and mobile professionals alike have all demonastrated a preference for this type of residence in recent years, leaving municipal policymakers ro wonder whether their housing stocks are diverse enough to satisfy the demands of each of these groups. The answer to this question appears to be "no" in many cases, as existing research indicates nearly half of the country's renters are housing cost burdened. This is problematic from an economic development stand point to the extent deficiencies in the supply of affordable rental housing prevent cities from attracting or retaining the human capital needed to acheive their full potential.
    Click here to see the full report. 

  • Real Estate Asset Management, Dustin Read, 2017
    Asset Management is critically important to the success of many large real estate investors, yet it is often poorly understood by those working outside the field. Therefore, it is important to clarify the roles asset managers play in different types of organizations for a number of reasons: 
    • Defining the unique body of knowledge required for success in real estateasset management can help establish it as a professional service, providing a status that will attract talent to the industry. 
    • Understanding what is expected of real estate asset managers can help education providors better tailor their offerings to meet evolving industry needs. 
    • Differentiating real estate asset management from property management in more clear and concrete terms can improve communication and understanding between these two groups.
      Click here to see the full report. 
  • Case Studies in Innovation District Planning and Development, Dustin Read, July 2016
    Many municipal governments, real estate practitioners and nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. have invested in the development of innovation districts in recent years to promote the formation and growth of knowledge-intensive businesses. This approach to economic development operates under the assumption that entrepreneurship and innovation can be stimulated by creating an environment that satisfies the space needs of companies in different lifecycle stages, while simultaneously encouraging their employees to engage in formal and informal interactions facilitating the exchange of ideas. Innovation district investments are expected to yield substantial returns in terms of economic diversification, job growth and the commercialization of new ideas in post-industrial cities, where competitive advantage often stems from product and process improvements made possible by collaboration.
    Click here to see the full report.

    This report describes the results from a survey of Virginia real estate appraisers.  The survey was conducted by the Virginia Center for Housing Research and the Virginia Tech Program in Real Estate in the spring of 2014 and focused on fees paid for residential real estate appraisals in Virginia in 2013.  The survey was conducted in response to recent amendments to the Truth in Lending Act modified by the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (also known as Dodd-Frank) that require lenders to pay appraisers a “customary and reasonable fee” for residential appraisal services in their geographic market.  Prior to the release of this report, no data existed that defined ‘customary and reasonable’ residential real estate appraisal fees in Virginia.  Dodd-Frank suggests that university research can serve as the basis for establishing local market standards.  The legislation defines a customary and reasonable fee as a fee that would be received for “comparable appraisal services performed in the geographic market of the property being appraised.”
    Click here to see the full report.