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A Different Look at Commercial Real Estate Returns

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  • Mike Miles
  • Rebel Cole
  • David Guilkey

Abstract

Commercial real estate makes up a relatively small percentage of most institutional portfolios, even though the existing literature has consistently reported attractive risk-return characteristics that would suggest much larger allocations. This discrepancy has been explained by a perceived lack of comparability between return series calculated for real estate and those calculated for other asset classes. Just as investors actively involved in the futures markets do not consider individual common stocks to be traded continuously, those active in the stock market do not consider real estate to be traded continuously. In both cases, adjustments to reported returns are necessary to achieve a degree of comparability. This study makes such adjustments, using sales data from properties that help comprise the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries / Frank Russell Company (NCREIF/FRC) Index to generate a "transaction-driven" commercial real estate return series. Examination of the risk-return characteristics of this series shows that it is quite different from traditionally reported real estate return series and far more consistent with risk-return characteristics that have been reported for other asset classes. Copyright American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Mike Miles & Rebel Cole & David Guilkey, 1990. "A Different Look at Commercial Real Estate Returns," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 18(4), pages 403-430.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:18:y:1990:i:4:p:403-430
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