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Trading and the Tax Shelter Value of Depreciable Real Estate


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  • Patric H. Hendershott
  • David C. Ling


For well-diversified investors in depreciable real estate, the trading decision may be made with the sole objective of maximizing the property's depreciation tax shelter net of all capital gain taxes and transaction costs.This paper develops a dynamic programming model in which the optimal trading strategies and depreciation methods of all investors in a property are simultaneously determined. The effects of inflation, depreciation, recapture and choice of depreciation method are analyzed, and the costs of suboptimal trading are measured. The model is applied to both conventional residential and commercial income properties under post-ERTA tax rules. At single digitinflation rates, properties are traded multiple times, and the costs of suboptimal trading are significant.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1267.

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Date of creation: Jan 1984
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Hendershott, Patric H. and David C. Ling. "Trading and the Tax Shelter Value of Depreciable Real Estate." National Tax Journal, Vol. 37, No. 2, (June 1984), pp. 213-223.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1267

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Cited by:
  1. Patric H. Hendershott & David C. Ling, 1984. "Prospective Changes in Tax Law and the Value of Depreciable Real Estate," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 12(3), pages 297-317.
  2. Winston T.H. Koh & Edward H.K. Ng, 2005. "Investing in Real Estate : Mortgage Financing Practices and Optimal Holding Period," Finance Working Papers 22457, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  3. Follain, James R. & Ondrich, Jan & Sinha, Gyan P., 1997. "Ruthless Prepayment? Evidence from Multifamily Mortgages," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 78-101, January.
  4. Wayne Archer & David Ling & Brent C Smith, 2010. "Ownership Duration in the Residential Housing Market: The Influence of Structure, Tenure, Household and Neighborhood Factors," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 41-61, January.
  5. Roger H. Gordon & James R. Hines, Jr. & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Notes on the Tax Treatment of Structures," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, pages 223-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. James M. Poterba, 1990. "Taxation and Housing Markets: Preliminary Evidence on the Effects of Recent Tax Reforms," NBER Working Papers 3270, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Cheng, Ping & Lin, Zhenguo & Liu, Yingchun, 2010. "Illiquidity, transaction cost, and optimal holding period for real estate: Theory and application," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 109-118, June.
  8. Jeffrey D. Fisher & George H. Lentz & K.S. Maurice Tse, 1992. "Valuation of the Effects of Asbestos on Commercial Real Estate," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 7(3), pages 331-350.


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