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Govan Family Entrepreneurship Award Recipient 2018

Monday, July 30, 2018

Samberg Conference Center, MIT

The Govan Family Entrepreneurship Award

The Govan Family Entrepreneurship Award is awarded to an MSRED student whose thesis exemplifies a unique, entrepreneurial idea that embodies the entrepreneurial success and legacy of MIT CRE Alumni.

This award has been made possible through the generous sponsorship of MSRED alumnus Craig Govan ’94. Mr. Govan currently serves as the Managing Director of Special Projects at Taurus Investments in Orlando, Florida.

When choosing a recipient, creativity, originality, analysis, execution, presentation, and the potential of the topic to be applied within the industry are considered.

The 2018 Govan Family Entrepreneurship Award recipient is Dietmar Weissmann, ’18, for his thesis “Innovative Mobility Solutions Disrupting Conventional Investment Paradigms in Real Estate”. 


From left: Research Scientist Andrea Chegut, Dietmar Weissmann ’18, Lecturer John Kennedy.



Innovative Mobility Solutions Disrupting Conventional Investment Paradigms in Real Estate


One might argue real estate is entering a period where technological innovations have greater impact on investment returns than conventional metrics related to the overall economy. While this has already been demonstrated by e-commerce disrupting the retail and logistics landscape, industry leaders are now starting to become more and more attentive to mobility related implications, resulting from the recent advent of ride-hailing providers like Uber, Lyft, and Didi. 

Broad literature, generated over the past decades and applying widely recognized econometric concepts, emphasizes the significance of public transport access for residential real estate values. More recently, claims arose that the value of proximity to public transport is being challenged by ride-hailing, serving as a substitute for rail and bus services. While the existence of a certain substitution effect is supported and documented by academic studies, research about its impact on real estate is rare. 

This thesis analyzes the value change of public transport access over time, by applying a hedonic regression model to a sample of 257,100 residential real estate transactions which have taken place in New York City between January 2005 and June 2018. The distance between each individual home and the closest of 550 heavy rail transit stops is used to determine the value of proximity to public transport in these transactions. Contrary to anecdotal claims and economic theory, the results of this analysis suggest that the value of proximity, i.e. rent gradients towards heavy rail transit stops, increases over the observed time period, especially since the emergence of Uber and within walking distance (0.5 miles) from transit access points. 

Since mobility innovation’s long-term effects might not be in line with short-term implications and notable regional variances might exist, the thesis recommends ongoing analysis of the subject matter and expanding the research from New York City to various markets with different urban shapes, transportation modes, and demographics. 

For more information about Fellowships, Scholarships, and Awards, please click here.