Area of Expertise
- Commercial Real Estate
- Emerging Markets
- Multifamily Housing
- Real Estate Finance
- Sustainable and Energy Efficient Real Estate
Avis Devine is an Associate Professor of Real Estate Finance and Sustainability with the Brookfield Centre in Real Estate and Infrastructure. Dr. Devine’s previous appointment was as an Assistant Professor of Real Estate with University of Guelph’s College of Business and Economics. Prior to her academic career, she was the Assistant Vice President in charge of commercial real estate underwriting and valuation for Dollar Bank, FSB in Pittsburgh, PA. Avis has a B.S. from Westminster College, an M.B.A. from Duquesne University, and a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Cincinnati. Her research interests include Sustainability and ESG in Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate, Multifamily Housing, and Emerging Markets.
Dr. Devine’s body of research largely focuses on the financial and firm/fund performance impacts of sustainability on commercial real estate. Her research garners much industry support and has won several research awards and grants, including the 2017 Nick Tyrrell Research Prize in Real Estate Investment and a 2021 research grant from the Real Estate Research Institute (RERI). Avis’ work has been featured in The Globe and Mail, The Financial Post, The Business Mirror, Commercial Property Executive, and Business in Vancouver among others.
2021 Real Estate Research Institute (RERI) Research Grant
2020 Real Estate Research Institute (RERI) Research Grant
2018 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) & the Real Estate Research Institute (RERI) Research Grant for Sustainable Real Estate
2017 Nick Tyrrell Research Prize in Real Estate Investment
2016 Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Award for Best Paper on Sustainability
2016 European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA) Research Award
2014 Aareal Award for Excellence in Real Estate Research, category: Doctoral Dissertation
2013 University of Cincinnati Real Estate Center Outstanding Graduate Student Award
2012 Eastern Finance Association Best Graduate Student Paper Award
Devine, A. and Yonder, E. (Forthcoming), "How Environmental Investment Impacts Firm Performance: Decomposing Valuation and Cash Flow Effects", Real Estate Finance and Economics .
Clayton, J., Devine, A. (2021), "Beyond Environmental Building Certification: The Impact of Environmental Interventions on Commercial Real Estate Operations", Energy Economics.Keywords
Devine, A. and McCollum, M. (2019), "Understanding Social System Drivers of Green Building Innovation Adoption in Emerging Market Countries: The Role of Foreign Direct Investment", Cities, 92, 303-317.Keywords
There has been a growing academic focus on the economic, environmental, and social implications of sustainable innovation adoption. This work has largely focused on the developed world, yet the majority of people and future economic growth lies in the developing world. Further, most research examines micro data on consumers or firms, limiting what is known regarding the role of macro factors on diffusion, such as social systems. Addressing these limitations, this research provides the first high-level insights into how green building adoption is occurring in developing countries. Utilizing a hand-collected dataset of all green building certification activity in 97 emerging market countries over fifteen years, we examine the relationship between economic development and green building adoption. We find the use of international certification programs is far more common than domestic programs, and that domestic programs have only been originated in advanced emerging economies. Additionally, we observe a relationship between foreign direct investment into emerging markets countries and the proliferation of green building, and that in most cases, domestic certification programs only originate after international certification activity has been introduced to the local economy. Our findings carry economic and policy implications, worthy of consideration by both those interested in offering and attracting foreign investment in emerging market countries.
Chang, Q. and Devine, A. (2019), "The Financial Benefits to Retail Users of Environmentally Certified Space", Journal of Cleaner Production, 211, 1586-1599.
Much research exists measuring income and valuation premiums to owners and operators of environmentally-certified real estate, yet little work examines the financial impact to the space users, outside of decreased utility costs. Such implications for space users are of great importance, as tenant businesses may be unwilling or unable to pay a rental rate premium for environmentally-certified space if there is not an associated user benefit. Under a simple yet rigorous fixed effects model with geographic clustering, we study the relationship between environmentally-certified retail space and location-specific financial performance. Examining retail bank branches, we find that LEED certified spaces are associated with above average deposit levels, while Energy Star-certified branches offer inconsistent results. These results are tested in an event study which validates the findings, and indicates that the benefits of LEED extend years past initial certification, evidencing lasting income-related benefits. Finally, bank- and branch-specific subsample analyses confirm these results while controlling for idiosyncratic characteristics.
Devine, A. and Foti, L. (2019), "High Involvement and Ethical Consumption: A Study of the Environmentally Certified Home Purchase Decision", Sustainability, 11, 5353.
Sustainable and energy efficient (SEE) attributes in the housing market have become a focus in Canada. Similarly, understanding the consumer’s decision-making process of this high-involvement ethical product has become a burgeoning area for researchers. This study describes the development of the subject, highlighting the nature of the ethical decision-making process and how it relates to this known intention–behaviour gap. An observation, followed by two studies consisting of in-depth interviews with real estate agents and sales representatives (n = 15) and home purchasers/consumers (n = 15), were conducted. Transcriptions were analysed qualitatively with NVivo Pro 12 software (NVivo Pro 12, QSR International Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia). Inductive thematic analysis revealed two main driving themes: information and trust in seller/realtor. Attribute investment return uncertainty was identified as a theme that affects the strength of the relationship between purchase intention and behaviour, whereas the trust in seller/realtor speaks to how and why this effect occurs. The findings present relationships among the driving factors that were identified by realtors and consumers in the SEE housing market, as well as barriers (investment return uncertainty) that prevent consumers from purchasing high-involvement ethical products.
Chang, Q. and Devine, A. (2019), "Environmentally-Certified Space and Retail Revenues: A Study of U.S. Bank Branches", Journal of Cleaner Production, 211, 1586-1599.
Environmentally-certified Space and Retail Revenues: A Study of U.S. Bank Branches
Bond, S.A. and Devine, A. (2016), "Incentivizing Green Single-Family Construction: Identifying Effective Government Policies and Their Features", Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, 52(4), 383-407.
For more than a decade, governments have been incentivizing, and now requiring, private developers to construct energy efficient, sustainable projects. We examine the effectiveness of green single-family construction incentive programs. A cross-sectional comparison of municipalities with and without green private residential incentive programs indicates which government levels of policy issuance and which types of certification programs prove most successful, and when those impacts should be expected. Findings indicate that only municipalities experience success with construction-related policies, which may be tailored to their local market’s construction demands. Business-related policies, however, prove effective at all levels of government implementation, with particular success at the state level. Lastly, event studies and multiyear window data indicates that green incentive policies elicit the greatest change 2 to 3 years after their implementation.
Bond, S.A and Devine, A. (2016), "Certification Matters: Is Green Talk Cheap Talk?", Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, 52(2), 117-140.
There is an active and growing literature examining the rental rate, sales price, and occupancy premiums associated with sustainable or energy efficient certified real estate. To date, the focus has rested largely on office properties and for sale single family residential properties. We examine the rental rates achieved by green multifamily properties, providing the first look at the population of LEED market-rate apartments in the United States. We find an approximate 8.9 % rental rate premium associated with LEED apartments. Moreover, this research provides the first indication that LEED certification garners an additional premium over non-certified space that identifies as green, indicating the strength of the certification signal and contributing to the longstanding discussion on the merits of certification.
Devine, A. and Kok, N. (2015), "Green Certification and Building Performance: Implications for Tangibles and Intangibles", Journal of Portfolio Management, 41(6), 151-163.
Green Certification and Building Performance: Implications for Tangibles and Intangibles
Bai, Q., Chang, Q. and Devine, A. (2014), "Capital Market Supply and REITs’ Financing and Investment Decisions", International Journal of Managerial Finance, 10(2), 146-167.
Purpose: In the wake of the recent financial crisis, there has been extensive commentary regarding the rise and fall of REIT leverage, how much debt REITs should use, and the trendy “deleveraging” practice among REIT managers. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach: Identifying the late 2000s credit crunch as a supply shock, the paper uses difference-in-difference methodology to isolate alternative firm financing strategies and investment decision responses to the shock. Findings: Consistent with corporate survey results, this empirical analysis suggests that changes in capital structure are largely supply driven, and REIT managers “time” the debt market in response to credit conditions. Originality/value: This research clarifies the causes of the documented leverage pattern and provides fresh insights about REIT capital structure.
PROP 6080 – Creative Workshop (MREI, capstone)
PROP 6650 – Commercial Real Estate Asset Management (MREI & MBA)
PROP 6550 – Sustainable Cities (MREI & MBA)
PROP 6200 – Development Prototypes (MREI & MBA)
FINE 5200 – Managerial Finance (MBA)