Course Title: Property Concepts

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Property Concepts

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


325H Property, Constr & Proj Mgt


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor James Baxter

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2813

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 8.8.52

Course Coordinator Availability: Wednesday 1 to 3 or by appointment.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the property industry, its professions, and real estate in general. Its focus is the residential property market, and it covers the following topic areas:-
• The concepts of real estate
• The property industry and its structure
• Land economics
• Economic base and land use forms
• The basic decision model – use and feasibility analysis
• Attribute analysis
• Market analysis
• Planning and land use decision making
• Real estate finance
• Preliminary financial analysis
• Financial mathematics – an introduction
• Basic financial measures
• Discounted cash flow, sensitivity and risk analysis
• Report and essay writing and presentation.
• Introduction to the academic journals and the “body of knowledge” pertaining to the property professions.
• Basic literature reviews.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Capabilities built in this course, will be further developed during the program, and are critical to the overall desired capabilities for the first year of the program, viz. that students will be able to develop a defensible market study and valuation of a residential property by the end of first year.

Capabilities in this course will be developed concurrently in the following courses.
• Residential Documentation
• Construction Technology (Residential)
• Construction Science

Capabilities in this course will be developed subsequently in the following courses.
• Residential Valuation;
• Investment Evaluation;
• Urban Economics;
• Sustainable Development;
• Property Development;
• Property Investment;
• Feasibility Studies;
• Current Issues; and,
• the core courses in the Construction and Project Management streams.

The specific graduate capabilities that will be addressed, further developed and refined in this course are:

Evidence based practice
- Problem identification

Problem diagnosis and solving
- Problem resolution using sound problem-solving methodologies.

- Information gathering and synthesis from a wide range of people, to achieve an informed outcome.

Strategic thinking and action
- Linking strategic thinking and operational action – to use holistic perspectives to inform day-to-day decisions and actions.

This course will provide you with a firm understanding of the nature of real estate and give you an introduction to the literature relating to property as a discipline. It will cause you to consider the broad context within which real estate decisions are made, with an emphasis placed on analysis and problem solving techniques. The course aims to introduce you to the concepts of real estate, land economics, feasibility, site analysis, and financial investment analysis. The focus is on residential property, and it seeks to provide a thorough conceptual grounding in property to students intending to study construction management, project management, property and valuation.

At the conclusion of the course, you should be able to:

• recognise the problems and difficulties associated with investment and development o residential property.
• logically discuss the base feasibility questions associated with residential property development and investment feasibility as proposed by Prof. James Graaskamp, University of Wisconsin.
• differentiate between levels of journal and navigate the Internet to find appropriate material.
• construct a basic literature review to standards expected of first year university students, together with a bibliography presented in the accepted format (AusInfo, (1994 or later), “Style Manual for authors, editors and printers”, Commonwealth of Australia.)
• recognise the importance of strategic thinking and action within the property industry.

This will be achieved through you undertaking the reading, referencing, reflection and study required and the assignment work that will be provided to you separately in the book Property Concepts 2008 Edition.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course is run as a theory-based lecture and tutorial series, underpinned by references to case studies and the body of knowledge. It relies on you undertaking the base reading, as directed, in the non-contact hours each week prior to the lecture. It is a core unit, and deals with the fundamental elements of real estate. You are therefore required to demonstrate an understanding of the material covered as it forms an important base knowledge for future courses throughout the program.

This is a 12-credit point course, which means that your total weekly work commitment over the 12-week semester (including class) is assumed to be 12 hours. This includes classes, tutorials, visits, assignment work and study. It is an estimate only, and the actual hours required may vary from week to week.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will require a pre-programmed financial calculator: it will be assumed that you are familiar with the functions of the Hewlett Packard 10BII calculator, so you will need to work through the instructions and exercises that are included with the calculator. This will be further required in Investment Evaluation, Property Investment and Feasibility Studies.

You will need to access journals and books from the RMIT libraries (and other libraries as appropriate) in print and electronic form.

You will need to access your student email account regularly, or organize its setup appropriately to forward material, in order to retrieve electronically distributed handout materials.

A detailed companion book Property Concepts, 2008 Edition is available electronically to all enrolled students via the RMIT Online site.  This book includes the weekly program, assignment topic and other important information relating to the running of the classes, tutorial tests, tutorial questions and the direction your study needs to take. It has detail in respect of the lectures and also includes examples of past examination papers.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment in this course comprises four tutorial tests, a major assignment and a final examination, all of which will focus on the learning outcomes discussed above.

You must achieve an overall mark of at least 50% to pass the course, however you must also gain a minimum of 40% for the major assignment and the final examination in order to gain a pass. Standard university grades apply for this course.

The method of assessment (including submission dates) in the course guide may be altered by the lecturer with the agreement of 70% of the students enrolled in the course. Any alterations will be notified to all students concerned in writing. You must achieve an overall mark of at least 50%, Gradings are those standard for the university, as detailed later in this Course Guide.