Hedging Foreign Investments in U.S. Real Estate with Currency Options
Historically, the volatility in exchange rates appears to have generated so much risk in U.S. real estate returns that, from the foreign investor's viewpoint, it eliminated any potential for obtaining diversification benefits from these assets. Yet during the past twenty years foreigners purchased and continue to hold enormous amounts of U.S. real estate. This study examines the use of currency options as a means of hedging the exchange rate risk associated with a foreign investment in U.S. real estate. The findings indicate that currency options behave very much like an insurance policy. When used on a continuous basis, they insure foreign investors against any large sudden currency losses and spread the cost of these extreme losses out over time. Thus, from the foreign investor's perspective, the total risk in U.S. real estate returns is substantially reduced. However, these improvements are insufficient to make U.S. real estate consistently attractive to these investors in a mean-variance portfolio framework.
Volume (Year): 8 (1993)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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