Interview: Yolande Barnes, Bartlett Real Estate Institute

Yolande Barnes-2

Why house prices will never grow again, what affordability really means, and the sky-high running costs of skyscrapers

Who would swap the leafy streets of London’s West End, with their prime and super-prime stuccoed properties, for the shiny new buildings, eerily empty boulevards, green spaces and construction sites of east London’s Queen Elizabeth Park? Yolande Barnes made this move last September, leaving property consultant Savills – where she was director of world research – after almost 30 years at the firm.

Barnes headed east to chair the new Bartlett Real Estate Institute (BREI), which is part of UCL’s faculty of the built environment. BREI is based at UCL Here East, the university’s new campus in Stratford, which is also home to the Bartlett School of Architecture, Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering. The move seemed, she says, “a completely natural thing to do”, particularly as Barnes was already a visiting professor at the Bartlett, and housing’s big issues, above all affordability, remain very much on her and BREI’s agenda.


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