The Boom and Gloom of Real Estate Markets
Real estate markets around the world have earned a complicated reputation. On the one hand, real estate markets offer investors a wide spectrum of profitable investments opportunities, investments that nowadays can be executed by simply buying shares of stock listed by real estate investment companies. In the first half of this inaugural address, the boom of these real estate stocks is discussed. In less than three decades, the listed real estate market developed into a sector with almost 400 listed firms worldwide, representing a sum aggregate market capitalization of around one trillion dollars by the end of 2007. Three relevant lessons regarding these international real estate stocks are discussed in the first fifteen pages of this booklet, lessons offered by real estate research from the Rotterdam School of Management. On the other hand, real estate markets are notorious for attracting entrepreneurs with bad intentions, seeking for opportunities to circumvent the strong arm of the law. These activities have yielded many headlines in the daily press and have given real estate a gloomy reputation. The dynamics of foreclosure auction of homes is an example of a source of negative headlines, stressing that the suboptimal organization of these auctions prohibits distressed sellers from earning a fair price for their home. In the second part of this address, I focus on an empirical test of the matter. By analyzing over 700 auctioned homes the dynamics of the auction system is discussed objectively. This offers a fair view on the problems at hand and searches for way to improve the system in the near future.
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