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The Performance of Commercial Mortgages


  • Brian A. Ciochetti
  • Kerry D. Vandell


This study examines the return characteristics of a large, well-diversified commercial mortgage portfolio. Mortgage-specific cash-flow histories are constructed for 2,480 loans originated over the period 1974 through 1990, and a contingent-claims approach to pricing risky debt is used to estimate inter-temporal market values. Quarterly holding-period returns are compared across selected mortgage groups and to alternate asset classes. Our findings suggest that both mortgage returns and volatility of return are comparable to those of other forms of fixed-income assets over the study period. Implied property price volatility is found to average 17%, a result significantly higher than reported in earlier studies. While mortgage returns are found to vary by property type and region of origin, cross correlation of returns is found to be high, illustrating the systematic effect of interest rates on the performance of commercial mortgages over the period 1974 through 1990. However, an increase in credit risk in the latter years of the study suggests that diversification may be a worthwhile objective for holders of these assets. We do not find evidence to suggest that abnormal returns were earned on commercial mortgage portfolios over the study period. Copyright American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian A. Ciochetti & Kerry D. Vandell, 1999. "The Performance of Commercial Mortgages," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 27-61.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:27:y:1999:i:1:p:27-61

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    Cited by:

    1. Jun Chen & Yongheng Deng, 2013. "Commercial Mortgage Workout Strategy and Conditional Default Probability: Evidence from Special Serviced CMBS Loans," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 609-632, May.
    2. Ali Darrat & Ross Dickens & Osamah Al-Khazali, 2006. "Interactions between mortgage and other capital markets in the USA: has financial deregulation made a difference?," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 335-345.
    3. Varli, Yusuf & Yildirim, Yildiray, 2015. "Default and prepayment modelling in participating mortgages," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 81-88.
    4. Tracey Seslen & William C. Wheaton, 2010. "Contemporaneous Loan Stress and Termination Risk in the CMBS Pool: How "Ruthless" is Default?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 225-255.
    5. repec:bla:finmgt:v:47:y:2018:i:1:p:175-201 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ming Pu & Gang-Zhi Fan & Yongheng Deng, 2014. "Breakeven Determination of Loan Limits for Reverse Mortgages under Information Asymmetry," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 492-521, April.
    7. Xudong An & Yongheng Deng & Joseph Nichols & Anthony Sanders, 2013. "Local Traits and Securitized Commercial Mortgage Default," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 787-813, November.
    8. Driessen, Joost & Van Hemert, Otto, 2012. "Pricing of commercial real estate securities during the 2007–2009 financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 37-61.
    9. Tracey Seslen & William C. Wheaton, 2005. "Contemporaneous Loan Stress and Termination Risk in the CMBS pool: how "Ruthless" is default?," Working Paper 8582, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
    10. Cristina Viegas & José Azevedo-Pereira, 2012. "Mortgage valuation: a quasi-closed-form solution," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(7), pages 993-1001, May.

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