Brent Ambrose

Biography for Brent Ambrose, Professor of Risk Management, Jason and Julie Borrelli Faculty Chair in Real Estate, Director of Institute for Real Estate Studies

Portrait of Brent Ambrose.

Professor of Risk Management
Jason and Julie Borrelli Faculty Chair in Real Estate
Director of Institute for Real Estate Studies

Dr. Brent Ambrose is the Jason and Julie Borrelli Faculty Chair in Real Estate, Director of the Borrelli Institute for Real Estate Studies, Director of the Smeal College Ph.D. Program, and a professor at the Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business.

After receiving his undergraduate degree in business at Wake Forest University, Dr. Ambrose went on to get his MBA at the University of Georgia with a specialization in finance and real estate, which fostered in him a love for the real estate industry. He also earned his PhD in real estate at the University of Georgia before becoming a professor. Prior to joining Penn State University, Dr. Ambrose held positions at the University of Kentucky and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in real estate and finance. He was also a visiting associate professor and research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.

Dr. Ambrose’s research is mainly centered around real estate capital markets, corporate finance, investments, and fixed-income security analysis, and he has published over 90 refereed articles and reports throughout his career. He worked as a visiting economist with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to evaluate issues concerning FHA mortgage default and foreclosure (“Pricing Mortgage Default and Foreclosure Delay” and “Credit Rationing in the U.S. Mortgage Market: Evidence from Variation in FHA Market Shares). He also worked with HUD and the US Department of the Treasury to study costs associated with privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ("Implications of Privatization: The Costs to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac").

Alongside professors Jiro Yoshida and Ed Coulson, Dr. Ambrose publishes the monthly Penn State/ACY Alternative Inflation Index. This index is constructed by replacing the rental price of both tenant- and owner-occupied housing with the new Marginal Rent Index (MRI). The Alternative Inflation Rate was recently cited in a Forbes article regarding inflation rates and their relation to rent prices.

In 2010, Dr. Ambrose was elected President of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association (AREUEA). He then received AREUEA’s George Bloom Award for outstanding contributions to the field of real estate academics in 2016. Dr. Ambrose is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics was co-editor of Real Estate Economics from for six years.

Dr. Ambrose teaches courses in real estate markets, investments, and financing at Penn State. He is proud to be a part of Penn State’s Real Estate Department, which boasts some of the best faculty in the world. He believes Penn State’s real estate department sets students up well for careers in real estate with real-life applications of skills, opportunities to connect with leaders in the industry, and job opportunities at premiere real estate firms. He encourages students of all levels to take their coursework seriously, step out of their comfort zones, and take advantage of the opportunities offered at Penn State.