We present a citation-based analysis of the most important journals on real estate and real estate finance over a time period from 1986 to 2010. For each year, those three articles with the highest number of citations according to Google Scholar are identified. A thorough analysis of all 75 selected articles reveals that the focus of interest has been on (1) empirical research, (2) mainly using data of residential real estate, with (3) the primary objective of evaluating real estate investment until the midst 1990s. In order to derive reliable risk-return relations for real estate investment, (4) asset pricing as the main task of real estate appraisal is in the centre of attention, too. Appraisal issues have relatively gained importance for the last fifteen years in comparison to investment issues. Interdisciplinary aspects and sustainable issues are only very rarely integrated in appraisal methods, the focus is primarily on maximizing economic returns. Therefore, our citation analysis confirms that the Financial Management Approach of Dasso and Woodward (1980) is the predominant approach particularly in the United States. Our findings regarding our basic sample of articles are crosschecked by several robustness tests. For future research activities, it seems to be quite promising to focus on the one hand on interdisciplinary aspects and on the other hand to contribute to the theoretical foundation of real estate with the aim of developing a common body of knowledge.