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A Comparative Anatomy of REITs and Residential Real Estate Indexes: Returns, Risks and Distributional Characteristics

  • John Cotter
  • Richard Roll

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are the only truly liquid assets related to real estate investments. We study the behavior of U.S. REITs over the past three decades and document their return characteristics. REITs have somewhat less market risk than equity; their betas against a broad market index average about .65. Decomposing their covariances into principal components reveals several strong factors. REIT characteristics differ to some extent from those of the S&P/Case-Shiller (SCS) residential real estate indexes. This is partly attributable to methods of index construction. Our examination of REITs suggests that investment in real estate is far more risky than what might be inferred from the widely-followed SCS series. REITs, unlike SCS series are forward looking, and this helps them in the prediction of SCS returns. REIT forecasts of SCS returns are reasonably precise over a number of periods.

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File URL: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1103.5972
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Paper provided by arXiv.org in its series Papers with number 1103.5972.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1103.5972
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  1. Joseph Gyourko & Edward Nelling, 1996. "Systematic Risk and Diversification in the Equity REIT Market," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 24(4), pages 493-515.
  2. Amit Goyal & Ivo Welch, 2004. "A Comprehensive Look at the Empirical Performance of Equity Premium Prediction," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2412, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Jan 2006.
  3. Cotter, JOhn & Dowd, Kevin, 2006. "Extreme Spectral Risk Measures: An Application to Futures Clearinghouse Margin Requirements," MPRA Paper 3505, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. John Cotter, 2011. "Modelling Long Memory in REITs," Working Papers 200614, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  5. Cotter, John & Dowd, Kevin, 2006. "Extreme spectral risk measures: An application to futures clearinghouse margin requirements," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 3469-3485, December.
  6. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496, November.
  7. Cotter, John & Stevenson, Simon, 2007. "Modeling Long Memory in REITs," MPRA Paper 3500, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Colin Lizieri & Stephen Satchell & Qi Zhang, 2006. "The Underlying Return Generating Factors for REIT Returns: An Application of Independent Component Analysis," Real Estate & Planning Working Papers rep-wp2006-12, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  9. Tim Bollerslev, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 1986/01, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  10. Young, Michael S & Graff, Richard A, 1995. "Real Estate Is Not Normal: A Fresh Look at Real Estate Return Distributions," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 225-59, May.
  11. Chan, Su Han & Erickson, John & Wang, Ko, 2002. "Real Estate Investment Trusts: Structure: Structure, Performance, and Investment Opportunities," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195155341, March.
  12. Joseph Gyourko & Donald B. Keim, 1992. "What Does the Stock Market Tell Us About Real Estate Returns?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 20(3), pages 457-485.
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