We are living in extraordinary times. In the past decade, we have witnessed the phenomenal economic transformation of China and India,making giant leaps into 21st century, and only recently, we were in the midst of a global financial tsunami of unprecedented magnitude. Increasingly, the economic engines in Asia are driving global growth and Asia itself is rapidly evolving into a dominant consumer market for products and services.
The rising economic importance of Asia on the world stage also means that there is a great hunger for information and knowledge about this dynamic region, whether it is among governmental institutions, commercial entities, non-governmental social organizations or among academia. As the emerging economies within Asia go through their metamorphosis, the Asian real estate industry is also developing at breakneck speed with demand for infrastructure, residential and commercial properties exploding exponentially.
Real estate industries have always played a crucial link in global capital markets and risk management. The rise of Asia as an economic superpower carries with it many real estate implications in relation to urban development, wealth accumulation, finance, economics, demography and environmental sustainability issues.
Against this backdrop, the National University of Singapore (NUS), as a leading global university centred in Asia, is well positioned to cultivate and grow this sphere of real estate knowledge,. With its deep Asian heritage, multi-disciplinary capabilities comprising integrative research clusters and international networks with leading world-class educational and research institutions, the NUS is uniquely equipped in spearheading research on challenges facing the real estate communities in Asia and beyond.
The NUS Institute of Real Estate Studies (IRES) was thus set up with the aim of becoming the global knowledge centre on Asian real estate, through the promotion of research excellence, international partnerships and industry collaborations. We explore pertinent real estate issues from a holistic perspective that is distinctively Asian, drawing upon the multi-disciplinary resources of NUS and accessing our worldwide linkages with prominent overseas institutions. In addition, we also collaborate closely with industry practitioners so that what we do ultimately enhance industry best practices, capabilities and governance contributing to sustainable community development, economic progress and social well-being.
Since inception, IRES has welcomed many leading scholars in the field to share their insights and research, fostering intellectual discourses in real estate finance, urbanization and housing markets, REITS, environmental sustainability and institutional governance, among others. IRES has also developed executive education programmes and organized public seminars as part of its industry outreach, while also focusing resources on key initiatives to promote industry development.
Extraordinary times present unprecedented challenges. Unprecedented challenges require unconventional wisdom in their resolution, which in turn has to be balanced with a sense of reality and intellectual rigour. At IRES, we attempt to achieve that balance and fulfil our public service to both the real estate industry and its wider community. It is truly an exciting and humbling experience to be a part of real estate developments in Asia during this time. Please join us as we strive to build IRES into an extraordinary institution addressing extraordinary challenges facing the real estate industry in the future.
Deng Yongheng, Provost's Chair Professor
Director, Institute of Real Estate Studies