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Professor Teaches Risk and Return in Real Estate

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Lingxiao Li first delved into real estate while attending college in Hong Kong, one of the most densely populated places in the world. She earned a bachelor’s in business administration – finance from Lingnan University and a master’s in finance from City University of Hong Kong.

But she developed her passion for teaching when she traveled to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned her Ph.D. in real estate finance with a minor in economics.

“I loved staying on campus, I was so comfortable there,” she explained as she sat in her office in Mihaylo Hall. “I had an immediate connection to students and what is happening in their lives.”

The assistant professor of finance has been teaching real estate finance during her first semester at Cal State Fullerton, but also has taught courses in real estate appraisal and investment analysis and portfolio management at the University of Wisconsin and Longwood University.

What are your research interests?

My current research interests include real estate finance and brokerage, housing market dynamics and REITs (real estate investments trusts – companies that own or finance income-producing real estate).

Specifically, I’m looking at foreclosures and the cost of homes in areas where there are lots of foreclosures.

I recently authored a paper titled, “Why Are Foreclosures Contagious?” on how foreclosed properties depress neighboring property prices. The article is slated for an upcoming issue of Real Estate Economics. I’m also planning to present “Land Share and Mortgage Delinquency” in January at the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association meeting.

How do you engage students in your classes and/or research?

I ask students to become ‘professors for 10 minutes.’ Each student has to talk about an issue in real estate, to share a story and ask a question.

It’s important for them not only to get the skills of speaking before others but also to do the reading in preparation of the talk. Students get involved in an aspect of finance and real estate and it gives them a flavor of the subject, as well as experience in presenting on a topic.

What changes do you envision in your field five years from now?

Real estate used to be more isolated as a form of investment but it’s now gaining more importance. And the links between real estate and other investment areas are gaining importance as well.

What is one good tip for people to remember when it comes to finance?

It is always risk and return. Think what risk you can handle. How much are you willing to risk? What is the worst outcome, and are you ready for that? 

See the complete list of new tenure-track faculty members joining CSUF this fall.