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Real Estate and Economies of Scale: The Case of REITs

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  • Brent W. Ambrose
  • Michael J. Highfield
  • Peter D. Linneman

Abstract

Building on past research in the economies-of-scale debate, we test for scale economies in real estate investment trusts (REITs) by examining growth prospects, revenue and expense measures, profitability ratios, systematic risk and capital costs. Overall, we find that large REITs are increasing growth prospects while succeeding at lowering costs, leading to a direct relationship between firm profitability and firm size. Additionally, we find an inverse relationship between equity betas and firm size, and for all cost of capital measures we find significant scale economies. Further evidence from the stochastic frontier analysis suggests efficiency opportunities appear possible through continued growth and consolidation in REITs. Copyright 2005 by the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association

Suggested Citation

  • Brent W. Ambrose & Michael J. Highfield & Peter D. Linneman, 2005. "Real Estate and Economies of Scale: The Case of REITs," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 323-350, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:33:y:2005:i:2:p:323-350
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:ire:issued:v:20:n:03:2017:p:349-374 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. William Hardin & Zhonghua Wu, 2009. "Bank Mergers, REIT Loan Pricing and Takeover Likelihood," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 275-301, April.
    3. Stephen M. Miller & Terrence M. Clauretie & Thomas M. Springer, 2006. "Economies Of Scale And Cost Efficiencies: A Panel-Data Stochastic-Frontier Analysis Of Real Estate Investment Trusts," Manchester School, University of Manchester, pages 483-499.
    4. Michelsen, Claus & Rosenschon, Sebastian & Schulz, Christian, 2015. "Small might be beautiful, but bigger performs better: Scale economies in “green” refurbishments of apartment housing," Energy Economics, Elsevier, pages 240-250.
    5. Richard Chung & Scott Fung & James Shilling & Tammie Simmons-Mosley, 2011. "What Determines Stock Price Synchronicity in REITs?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 73-98, July.
    6. Hartzell, Jay C. & Sun, Libo & Titman, Sheridan, 2014. "Institutional investors as monitors of corporate diversification decisions: Evidence from real estate investment trusts," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, pages 61-72.
    7. Mine Ertugrul & Erasmo Giambona, 2011. "Property Segment and REIT Capital Structure," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 505-526, November.
    8. William G. Hardin III & Matthew D. Hill & James J. Hopper, 2009. "Ownership Structure, Property Performance, Multifamily Properties and REITs," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 31(3), pages 285-306.
    9. Stephen M. Miller & Thomas M. Springer, 2007. "Cost Improvements, Returns to Scale, and Cost Inefficiencies for Real Estate Investment Trusts," Working papers 2007-05, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    10. Michael J. Highfield & Kenneth D. Roskelley & Fang Zhao, 2007. "The Determinants of the Debt Maturity Decision for Real Estate Investment Trusts," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 29(2), pages 173-200.
    11. Piet Eichholtz & Nils Gugler & Nils Kok, 2011. "Transparency, Integration, and the Cost of International Real Estate Investments," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 152-173, July.

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