Our research output

An overview of some of the department’s current research projects.

Our academic staff are active researchers producing impactful work that resonates across the field of property and other disciplines as well.

From research into walkability and other housing and built environment studies, to the timely issue of housing affordability, our department’s collective research efforts are highly relevant to the real-world challenges we are facing as a society today.

Here is an overview of some of our staff and their current research projects:

Senior Lecturer Dr William Cheung

William’s transdisciplinary research includes the fields of economics, economic geography, urban studies and tourism amongst others. He was recently recognised with an Early Career Research Award by the University for his research into neighbourhood effects and walkability.

“To me, public policies cannot be adequately directed without an in-depth understanding of the causes, and the human consequences, of the neighbourhood effects. My research programme will offer new perspectives on neighbourhood effects research with the aim of furthering the academic debate and to aid the innovation of effective policies.”

Read William's profile to learn more about his research

Senior Lecturer Dr Zhi Dong

Dr Zhi Dong is enthusiastic about identifying forces and factors that drive property and capital markets. Her mission is to present conceptual frameworks, identify important forces and measures and empirically investigate currently significant issues in asset and capital markets.

Zhi is passionate about her research because she is interested in understanding and explaining ever-changing property market trends with theories; and further developing those theories.

Read Zhi's profile to learn more about her research

Senior Lecturer Dr Michael Rehm

“My latest research centres on housing affordability which is a global predicament that is more acute in New Zealand than any other OECD country. There is no consensus regarding the root cause of unaffordable housing and my work runs counter to the predominant narrative that we face a housing and land supply problem.

“It is a nut that we must crack. Fostering affordable housing markets are key to a healthy society that will address inequality and offer young generations hope and optimism about their future.”

Read Michael's profile to learn more about his research

Associate Professor Edward Yiu

Edward was part of one of the earliest research teams to assess the impact of the pandemic on house prices in Wuhan, China immediately after the outbreak. Currently, he is also involved in a research project on the changes in Melbourne and Auckland’s rental landscape with respect to the rise of work-from-home and e-commerce due to the lockdowns.

“COVID-19 has reset our world and our resilience depends very much on our understanding of the impacts of the pandemic. The urban form and housing affordability issues will be re-shaped by the changes after the pandemic. Our research outputs reveal why house prices increased in the COVID-19 recession and how work-from-home will change the housing markets. We also applied new property technologies, such as machine learning algorithm, in our research to get better insights.”

Read Edward's profile to learn more about his research

Senior Lecturer Dr Olga Filippova

Olga’s research focuses on improving disaster resilience in the built environment.

“Best-practice policymaking has seen a shift away from technocratic top-down formulations towards inclusive and collaborative co-creation practices with the communities of concern. Policies, including those addressing seismic vulnerability, must meet the needs of the people they are designed to support. Mātauranga Māori – Indigeneous Knowledge of Aotearoa New Zealand – is likely to differ from mainstream notions of risk perception, recovery and resilience,” says Olga.

“In our research we work closely with a hapū in the Bay of Plenty and record location-specific mātauranga Māori to understand indigenous perspectives on earthquake resilience and disaster risk mitigation. Such work is important because disaster impacts are connected to structural location. Strong connection with the natural environment combined with powerful situated knowledge based on numerous generations of observations and lived experience of the region’s hazardous phenomena, this mātauranga is a vital resource for Aotearoa’s earthquake resilient future.”

Read Olga's profile to learn more about her research

Dr Raewyn Hills

Raewyn's research is focused on how office design and workplace strategies can impact collaboration.

"Although the Covid-19 pandemic has enabled employees to become more adept at using technology, particularly zoom and Microsoft Teams, to collaborate with each other the characteristics of collaboration suggest that some activities are more effective face-to-face ‘in person’, within the office environment," she says.

"I am currently writing journal articles from my PhD research project that involved a case study of an organisation where different workplace strategies were utilised by two business units. The study provided valuable insights into how office design impacts within-team and between-team dynamics in collaborative work. The results also highlight design features of the spatial layout and workstation orientation that make space fit-for-purpose, enhancing collaboration, and those that create barriers to collaboration."

Read Raewyn's profile to learn more about her research

Professor Deborah Levy

Deborah is currently working on a number of projects with colleagues within the department and across New Zealand.

She is the principal investigator within a team of women in the Business School, including Dr Olga Filippova and Dr Raewyn Hills from the Department of Property, working to understand and facilitate regional town centre regeneration and wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand. This study involves both qualitative interviews and an extensive survey, and the preliminary results will be out soon.

She is also working on a project spearheaded by Associate Professor Abdul Rasheed Amidu to understand valuation quality from both the valuer’s and client’s viewpoints. Funding has been received from the Valuers Education and Integrity Foundation.

In addition to this, Professor Levy is continuing to work on the topic of financialisation of home with Emeritus Professor Harvey Perkins and Dr. Jane Horan focusing on the ‘financial paradox’ in which owner-occupied houses are simultaneously places of ontological security and financial investment in the context of the holiday homes or baches located on Waiheke Island.

Read Deborah's profile to learn more about her research

Strategic Research Themes Fund, 2019 (Joint project)

Shaping futures: Understanding and facilitating regional town centre regeneration and wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand - Kia tipu ngā tāone

This joint project is led by a team of researchers:

• Professor Deborah Levy
• Dr Olga Filippova
• Dr Raewyn Hills
• Dr Kiri Dell
• Dr Catherine Frethey-Bentham
• Dr Natalie Allen

For this project, the team is focused on understanding the experiences of local councils and other stakeholders around the potential and barriers to town centre regeneration in small to medium size provincial town centres in New Zealand and gaining insights into the social, environmental and economic needs of these communities.

So far, the team has interviewed local councils, business owners and property developers in Ashburton, Timaru, Whanganui, Marton, Feilding, and Waimate as well as community stakeholders to inform the final phase of this project. This involved a nationwide survey of community stakeholders in over 40 towns to gauge their perceptions of their current town centre and what they would like to see in the future. The work so far has allowed the team to engage with a diverse range of people across New Zealand to understand more fully the issues surrounding small town regeneration.

The results should inform government and local government policy surrounding urban design, local government structure and resource management legislation.