I started perusing The Property Chronicle a few months ago when I came across a good piece by John Ratcliffe. This morning I knew I had to respond to Yolande Barnes’ What do we mean by #RethinkRealEstate?
She’s a professor of real estate. Real estate is land with, or without, buildings on it. Land and buildings are things of all sizes, shapes, materials, compositions, configurations, colors, uses, problems, solutions and rewards. When the rewards are monetary, we find the money. And she’s at the Bartlett, which is long overdue bringing real estate into the fold. I was there in the early 1980s, got my MSc in Architecture and began working on a doctorate. I considered real estate as a way to extend the scope of architecture. I was wrong; other universities had the right programs. (Program gives it away. Were I a Brit, it would be programme.)
And she’s thoughtful. I get that way too from time to time: like this morning. The concept of real estate exists because human societies and activities, as philosophers Barry Smith and Leo Zaibert point out, “take up space, a resource whose utilization is typically subject to the pressure of demand by other, competing users.” They say it is competition for space that gives rise to real property and the elaborate mechanisms societies use for regulating it. Formally, real estate per se denotes a parcel of land and the improvements on it. The Appraisal Institute says property refers to the benefits and rights inherent in owned real estate. The former has an allocentric ring to it; the latter egocentric.