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Cycology – what has been learnt from previous real estate cycles?

Simon Durkin (BNP Paribas Real Estate, London, UK)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 3 July 2017




The purpose of this paper is to look at the lessons learnt from the previous real estate cycles based on a sample of investors, occupiers and academics and seek to understand the practical challenges the industry faces in the current cycle.


The paper summarises the results of qualitative research and interviews conducted and analysed by BNP Paribas Real Estate and Ipsos MORI.


The paper considers the crisis of 2008, its impact on performance, lessons learnt by the industry as a result and the future challenges. Whilst the industry felt well prepared to withstand future uncertainty and change, there was concern that subsequent generations of industry professionals will not be well equipped to deal with the pace and magnitude of change.

Practical implications

This is a practical study that seeks to place a greater emphasis on the drivers of market sentiment rather than focussing on quantitative forecasts.


There is much attention given to quantitative property market forecasts; however, there seems to be little appreciation of the need to evolve our process in today’s fast paced, structurally changing market which will behave differently to how it has in the past. Economic forecasts have received much criticism recently and these provide the basis for property market forecasts. The consideration of sentiment and the qualitative aspect of the future drivers of performance have never been so critical.



Durkin, S. (2017), "Cycology – what has been learnt from previous real estate cycles?", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 427-435.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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