An overview of the “UK-complex-housing-planning-permission-system”

By Victor Alarsa

Who’s responsible for granting planning permissions?

The planning system is designed to be applied by local authorities. There are three layers of authorities:

  • Nationally (national plan)
  • County councils (regional plan)
  • Unitary authorities such as districts, boroughs or city councils, hereafter referred as to Local Planning Authority (LPA)

LPA is ultimately responsible for designing local plans and granting planning permission.

Continue reading An overview of the “UK-complex-housing-planning-permission-system”

The UK Private Rented Sector (PRS) perspectives and Build to Rent (B2R) opportunities

By Victor Alarsa

The PRS is the fastest-growing sector in the UK properties market. It is England’s second-largest housing tenure after owner occupied, 62% against 20%, as shown below:

Image 1

Source: Alex Bate, Building the new private rented sector: issues and prospects (England), 2017

Continue reading The UK Private Rented Sector (PRS) perspectives and Build to Rent (B2R) opportunities

The benefits of SUMPRODUCT?

By Victor Alarsa

If you are one of those who loves to model using lots of “IF”, “AND” and “OR” functions, then this article is for you.

Let’s discuss the SUMPRODUCT, which literally means summing up the multiplication (product) of two or more different arrays.

For example, if you want to calculate total rental value of a property with different floor sizes and rents per square foot, then you simply need to multiply each floor size by its corresponding rent and sum up everything in the end.

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London: Density vs. Price, Challenges & Opportunities

By Victor Alarsa (valarsa@cambridgerefinance.com)
& Maria Wiedner (mwiedner@cambridgerefinance.com)

We are living in the age of the City. Larger and denser cities are likelier to be more innovative and generate more wealth. For instance, as the population of a city increases by 100%, its residents get 115% more innovative, productive and hence 15% wealthier1. This attracts more people, which, in turn, makes the city larger, denser, more innovative, wealthier. This cycle continues up until a point when pollution, house unaffordability, traffic and crime outweigh the benefits of agglomeration, i.e. when a city becomes too large for its own sake.

Density in general is massively beneficial, for example in 2015, London represented 14% of the UK population but was responsible for 23% of its GDP. However, the virtuous cycle of agglomeration needs to be accompanied by a housing expansion, which many cities struggle with. In London, finding housing accommodation is a challenge; land is scarce and restrictions in planning permission deter new constructions. Demand, on the other hand, is further growing as people want to move to London where jobs are available and the clustering of people has made public goods such as entertainment, health and transport more accessible.

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RICS and Cambridge Finance collaborate to bridge the skills gap between real estate and finance

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is delighted to announce a collaboration with Cambridge Finance to develop a comprehensive training course that will help bridging the gap between real estate and finance education.

The growing sophistication of the property and financial markets has meant that investment surveyors have not only been requested to advise on property location, covenants and physical structure of buildings, but also on debt, Continue reading RICS and Cambridge Finance collaborate to bridge the skills gap between real estate and finance

Demystifying real estate financial models

Real Estate financial models are mainly spreadsheets used extensively as an aid in decision support in the areas of property investment and lending. These spreadsheets will ascertain the present value of a stream of cash flows and generate risk / return ratios.

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How to prepare for a real estate financial modelling test

First, we need to understand what a financial modelling is so we can keep this in mind throughout the test and better accept why companies are asking us more and more to go through Excel tests in order to proceed to the next round of interviews.

Financial Modelling in real estate is used as a decision making tool for investment purposes. Companies use financial models to forecast the future of a real estate asset or portfolio with several assets, including partially owned assets such as the case of joint-ventures. Continue reading How to prepare for a real estate financial modelling test

How to convince your boss to pay for your financial modelling training

More often than not employees find themselves trapped in a situation where they know they could do a better job, but just don’t have the right skills to implement more efficient routines. Training seems to be the key to solve their problem. However, there is always that question: “Should I pay for my training or should I ask the company to pay for it?”

In our experience, companies are more willing to pay for their staff’s training as long as they can see the short-term results of their investment, mainly improved process or product development.
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5 Things Highly Productive Financial Analysts Do Differently

Being a highly productive financial analyst is not an innate talent; it’s simply a matter of organising your spreadsheets so that you can efficiently get the right calculations and analysis done. Real estate financial analysts in particular…

So, what behaviors define highly productive financial analysts?  What habits and strategies make them consistently more productive than others?  And what can you do to increase your own analytical productivity?

Here are some ideas to get you started: Continue reading 5 Things Highly Productive Financial Analysts Do Differently