About us

The Institute of Real Estate Finance and Management (IREFIM) is a platform sponsored by ESCP Europe Madrid Campus dedicated to promote education and research in real estate. With headquarters in Madrid (Spain), arguably one of the most important, beautiful and dynamic real estate cities in Europe, the Institute offers innovative program studies, and serves as a unique and effective forum for fostering academic work in the fields of real estate finance, economics and management.

IREFIM is committed to excellence in education through a creative and innovative Real Estate curriculum. In addition to in-house training, the Institute offers a first-class education program: a Certificate in Real Estate Finance and Investments. The world-renowned faculty and guest expert practitioners combine theory with real-world applicability to prepare students to become leaders in the industry.

IREFIM supports cutting-edge research on core areas as defined by the Institute’s Advisory Board. Our group of research fellows is comprised of internationally recognized thought leaders who are contributing to the world's understanding of securities market analysis, commercial real estate, affordable housing, mortgage debt and default, house price bubbles, urban economics, green sustainable real estate development, and more. Funding research opportunities and visiting scholar grants are available for projects that meet the highest standards of scholarship in the field of real estate.

Message from our Academic Director

Real estate plays an integral role in the economy. It creates places to live and spaces for business. It also contributes to the financial industry by providing a permanent source of revenue to investors. Well-known examples of such investments are residential and commercial mortgages, land acquisition and development, and real estate equity investments. In expansionary periods, returns may outperform the stock market – for example, look at the case of Spain between 1997 and 2006, where residential house prices grew 150% in nominal value.

ESCP Europe is determined to influence the real estate sector by launching new education programs and engaging in high quality research that brings new perspectives to existing debates and problems. Year 2019 will be a great year in this field for ESCP Europe.

In the research front, I am pleased to announce the celebration of an international research conference on the topic of housing affordability. It will take place at the ESCP Europe Madrid campus on June 4-5, 2019. The conference will bring together top researchers that will share their research findings on important economic and policy issues related to housing affordability. The organizers of this conference are Stuart Gabriel (Director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at the University of California Los Angeles), Danny Ben-Shahar (Director of the Alrov Institute for Real Estate Research at Tel Aviv University) and myself. The three of us have put together an outstanding Scientific Committee with affiliations top institutions, including Harvard, Northwestern, UCLA, NYU, Stanford, LBS, LSE, USC, and the Federal Reserve. Scientific Committee members will evaluate all papers submitted and select the best ones according to a research excellence criterion. It is my hope that this initiative will significantly increase our visibility as a top research institution in the fields of real estate and housing economics.

In the education front, we recognize that real estate companies often rely on well-trained workers capable of making investment decision in an environment of complexity.

To fill this education need, we will launch a new Certificate in Real Estate Finance and Investments that will be taught at the ESCP Europe Madrid campus in the spring of 2019. I have been teaching this course since 2012 in the real estate program of the School of Business of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and I can assure you that our high quality education standards will be no less than any top real estate program in the United States. The program consists of 40 hours of class instruction, with the first 30 hours devoted to a course on real estate finance and investments and the remaining 10 hours dedicated to preparing students for an exam that, if successfully passed, will award the student with the certificate.

In addition, we have also launched the ESCP Europe Real Estate Association (REAS), which I serve as Faculty Director. The new REAS’s organizing committee is creating a community of students who are passionate about real estate development, smart cities, and urban development and who aim to start their professional careers in the real estate sector. Students enrolled in this association will learn from distinguished guest speakers, visit sites from which they can learn the “know-how” of the real estate development business, and network with industry experts who can ultimately facilitate them internship and job opportunities.

Finally, it is my pleasure to announce the creation of a Professorship in Real Estate, sponsored by BNP Paribas Real Estate Spain and starting in January 2019. As the faculty in charge of this professorship, I will conduct high quality research in the field of real estate and organize events and conferences that will make ESCP Europe a reference point for the real estate industry. BNP Paribas Real Estate Spain has also kindly accepted to offer four internships to our master students every year. Innovative applied learning opportunities like this one are a hallmark of our curriculum, and help reinforce the role of ESCP Europe as a world-leader in business education.

Jaime Luque


IREFIM Academic Director and Associate Professor of Economics at ESCP Europe

© 2018 Board of Directors of the Institute of Real Estate Finance and Management, 1819-2018 ESCP Europe. All Rights Reserved