Real estate development is a significant factor in shaping the built environment. It shapes the way people live and work, and by doing so determines and enables human activity to evolve. Real estate development within specific national geographies form a contemporary reflection of social, economic, environmental, and political forces that are occurring. Nonetheless, due to globalisation we increasingly witness similar demands for space despite institutional differences existing between countries, and cities contained within their national borders. Analysis and discussion in this study focuses on comparing and contrasting international approaches to real estate development, in order to create a comprehensive understanding of real estate development in Europe and around the world – in particular, we explore; the broad philosophy, mechanisms and characteristics, geography of site and situation, implementation, and outcomes. We evaluate the main themes and issues covered in international approaches to real estate development by providing a detailed comparison of case studies, set against a new conceptual framework in this field. Additionally, we summarise the usefulness of the comparative applications, before we conclude with some recommendations for further studies on international approaches to real estate development.